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Pablo Picasso

Picasso was one of the most versatile and prolific artists of the 20th century. In his lifetime he churned out more than 20,000 pieces of art, including paintings, engravings, drawings and sculptures, while also writing poetry and surrealist plays. “It’s a shame that you, who came into this world to irritate it, shake it up, turn it upside down and look at it from a different perspective, should be reduced to a mere summation of dollars,” wrote Rafael Alberti.


By:  Lakshmi I. Aguirre
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Painter and Sculptor
Birth: 25th October 1881 (Malaga)
Death: 8th April 1973 (Mougins, France)
Magnum opus: Guernica (1937) an icon against fascism in the midst of the Civil War
Stands out for: marking a before and after in the history of art
Did you know? Boy with a Pipe was sold for 93 million dollars

The double S in Picasso, two paths that snake their way along without ever meeting, a trace of the many facets of the boy from Malaga born on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The two S’s, two reptiles that are his legs, his hands, his eyebrows looking up to the sky in a constant appreciation.

He left a Spain that was not ready for his revolution, for his tremendously physical manifestation of the war in black and white, or serene silhouetted faces stripped of all sentimentality. His Andalusian roots followed him wherever he went and even though Malaga didn’t feel the force of his footsteps throughout most of his lifetime, she yearns for them today.

Anti-theoretician and undisciplined, his artistic spirit emerged with every flick of the wrist. Picasso didn’t understand logical structures. His work was pure expression devoid of cynicism. From First Communion (1896) to his final Self-portrait (1972), The Young Ladies of Avignon (1907) posed for him and The Bathers (1918) waited for him on the beach year after year. In his wake remains Guernica (1937) - mutilated, dehumanized and dark.

The fury of his brushstrokes is a testament to his enthusiasm for life, tragedy and romance. Picasso devoted his life to capturing them on canvas, in clay or in the words of his quixotic poetry. “I am an old painter and a new poet,” he joked. “Perhaps some day, when I am gone, I will be described in dictionaries in the following way, ‘Pablo Ruiz Picasso: poet and playwright. Some paintings by him are still preserved’.”

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He plucked flowers only to leave them naked and then dressed them up in oil, clay, ink and the scent of awkward gypsies. He turned everything on its head for the world to see it from a different perspective. Lewd sex laid bare to all in candid scribbles. He crossed the line and then he destroyed it.

Alberti, Buñuel, Aleixandre, Cocteau, Bergamin, Breton and Guillen wrote for and about him. They called him Beltenebros - the Prince of Darkness - revolution and mastery. Neither the arms of Eva, Olga, Françoise, Marie-Thérèse or Jacqueline could unravel web of his gaze made up of ideas, images, muses, a conservative Malaga and a Paris floating in bohemian mist. To disentangle the web would have turned Picasso into Pablo. Just one of many.

“Let the eyes of that Andalusian captivate me,” declared the sixteenth century Spanish poet Luis de Gongora, whose work Picasso illustrated and calligraphed in Gongora and to whom Picasso was often linked (Gongora’s name in Spain was at the time synonymous with everything that was dark or esoteric). Although he was born over three hundred years earlier, Gongora may well have been referring to Picasso.

 

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Must see

Museo Picasso Málaga
Opened in 2003 and located in a beautiful sixteenth-century mansion the museum houses a permanent collection of 204 works donated by Christine and Bernard Ruiz, including works given to friends, family and lovers, and which Picasso kept for himself, as well as great temporary exhibits.
Palacio de Buenavista
C/ San Augustin, s/n
Malaga
952602731, 952127600, museopicassomalaga.org
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00. Permanent collection € 6, temporary collection € 4.50, combined ticket € 8, last Sunday of each month free entrance after 15:00.

Casa Natal de Picasso and Picasso Foundation (Fundación Picasso)
Head office of the Picasso Foundation established 1988 by Malaga city council this is where Picasso was born on the 25th of October 1881. It includes an exhibition space with etchings and lithographs, mostly of women, as well as photographs of Picasso during his lifetime.
Plaza de la Merced, 15
Malaga
fundacionpicasso.es
Open: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00. € 1.


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Bibliography


These books related to Pablo Picasso may interest you.

Discography


These albums related to Pablo Picasso may interest you.

Filmography


These films related to Pablo Picasso may interest you.

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