Aleksandra Bzdzikot




At home with Picasso in Malaga

As an artist myself I am always curious to learn more about the most famous figures from the art world. This time I was in Malaga, the birth place of Pablo Picasso and his home for a couple of early years.  If you ask me, I actually never understood the phemonenon of Picasso. I prefer other types of art and Picasso was not entirely to my taste.



Humans disfigured in cubic shapes. No proportions. No depth in the eyes. No psychology of the human soul. Picasso never showed any of these. Instead, he developed his own style, so different than that of any other artist living before or after him. Picasso was an artist who rethought the history of painting and thus revolutionised the fundamental and previously untouchable principles of representation. With Picasso I think it's like with red wine. You must grow to appreciate it.




Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga on 25.10.1881 to a middle class family. Picasso's early life was no different to a life of a normal child. He lived at Plaza de la Merced in the tenement house in the city center.


His first words as a child were "piz, piz". His childish attempt at saying "lapiz", the Spanish word for pencil. From the age of 7 Picasso received an art education from his father, who was a painter himself. The windows of their apartment were facing Plaza de la Merced, where Picasso's father used to take his inspiration to paint pigeons. Currently their apartment serves as a museum which also houses Picasso's Foundation.




Nowadays you can still feel Picasso's spirit at Plaza de la Merced. Posters of his art, tourists queueing up to enter into his museum, people feeding the pigeons at the children's playground. Picasso was born not in a hospital, but in this very apartment. It looks like back in those days and when you're there you can imagine how Picasso's family life looked like.



What's interesting is that Picasso got his family names after both of his parents. His mother Maria Picasso Lopez and his father Jose Ruiz Blasco. Pablo used two surnames: Pablo Ruiz Picasso. I found this quite interesting. Maybe it's a Spanish tradition that the child takes the names after both parents. Eventually, he was using only her mother's surname: Pablo Picasso.



Picasso traveled a lot and lived in many places: Malaga, La Coruna, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris... What about his education? Did he have a diploma in arts?


Well, he attended a famous art school in Barcelona when he was 14 and then there were art studies in Madrid, but he never graduated. So, like the majority of well-known and outstanding artists, school was not a priority for him. He followed his own path which led him to become one of the greatest figures in the history of art.



What captured my attention when I was visitng his museum in Malaga were the feminine portraits. They are not so brutal and screaming like "Guernica".


Instead, they have something subtle and erotic, which I felt captivated by. Picasso had hundreds of women. But actually, he had complicated relationships with them. Sometimes you can see beautifully presented women in his art, like the one above,  and sometimes you see just distorted female figures...Breaking the rules of figurative art and portraiture...I think this quote can summarise Picasso both as a man, and as an artist.


"Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist"






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