New podcast traces mysterious ceramic with ties to Hemingway, Picasso and Escobar

A new investigative podcast, Hemingway’s Picasso, follows the story of Steven Kough and the mysterious ceramic, looking into its origins, backstory and authenticity.

Larger than life, Steven Kough was an NFL journeyman, male model, art aficionado and one of the most well-connected drug smugglers in 1980s Miami, the drug capital of the world. On every drug run, Steven collected a souvenir.

No souvenir could top his most outrageous treasure: a ceramic of a man and woman, lost during the Cuban Revolution. As the story goes, the ceramic was a gift from Pablo Picasso to Ernest Hemingway. A gift which only resurfaced in 1989 when Kough took it as payment for a drug run financed by the notorious Pablo Escobar.

After Steven Kough’s death in 2018, the ceramic was passed down to his son, Stevie, a skateboarding, weed-smoking hippie in California.

Twenty years later, there are still questions about the case. Was Steven Kough a real deal drug smuggler or merely a big talker? Is the Picasso authentic or a fraud? And what role will Steven’s son, Stevie, play in completing his father’s mission, selling the piece and telling his cinematic life story?

Hosted by writer and researcher Leah Carroll, episodes of the podcast feature expert opinions from art professionals at famous auction house, Christie’s, and fine arts company, Sotheby’s, as well as commentary from individuals with ties to Hemingway himself.

Listeners learn about the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway, from their first encounter in 1920s Paris to bullfights in Madrid to the gifts they mutually exchanged over the decades.

The podcast also uncovers the story of mystery man, Steven Kough: his unfiltered, brazen manner, family history of crime, and the dark legacy he left behind for his son.

From Somethin’ Else and co-produced by Vespucci, Hemingway’s Picasso tells the story of big names and even bigger egos, set against the backdrop of politically complicated Cuba, U.S. drug capital Miami and the underworld of theft, smuggling and crime.

Hemingway’s Picasso is available each Monday from today (18 October) on Apple, Spotify, Acast and all podcast providers.

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