Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Discovering the child artist in #PabloPicasso @ZaidanGallery http://goo.gl/zT8UY

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso needs no introduction: he produced so much art and is known in every corner of the globe. But Picasso the world-renowned artist grew up in the small Andalusian city of Malaga, where the young boy saw sand, sea, bulls and bullfights and popular figures he would never forget.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Picasso (1881-1973) and both museums that carry his art in Spain are celebrating their own special anniversaries: the one in Barcelona 50 years, and the Malaga one 10 years since being founded.
Picasso was born in Malaga and lived there until age 10. As a small child he loved to draw and scribbled on the sand in front of his home in La Merced square.

But his love of art also came from his father, also a painter. Jose Ruiz Blasco (Picasso’s full name was Pablo Ruiz Picasso) was also an art teacher. From a very young age, Picasso copied the artworks his father reproduced from other artists. The young boy was at ease in his father’s artistic circles.
“This is an aspect that is frequently forgotten. That he was born into an environment that was very favourable for him to develop his talent,” said Xavier Vilato, a grandchild of Dolores Ruiz Picasso, Picasso’s sister.

Vilato travelled to Malaga to attend the inauguration of the Picasso of Malaga: Work From His First Period, commissioned by Rafael Inglada, and the first of three exhibitions that the Picasso Museum in Malaga is organising to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Vilato’s family and others close to the Ruiz-Picassos contributed works and objects from that era to the exhibition, funded by the Malaga museum and the Picasso Home museum, that transports viewers to his childhood.

Those early works which Picasso copied from his father and later liberated himself by doing his own work, are signed “Pablo Ruiz” or “Pablo R Picasso”. Later Picasso would drop the paternal surname completely.

It is interesting to see the Twilight in the Port of Malaga painted by Jose Ruiz Blasco in 1887 and which the young Pablo copied two years later, when he was barely eight years old.
It is also fascinating to see the pigeons that Picasso’s father painted so frequently. The father also liked the still-life mode, repeated time and time again by his son. Pigeons were of great symbolic importance for Picasso, Rafael Inglada said, to such a degree that he named his daughter “Paloma” (“pigeon” in Spanish and a fairly common name for females).

There are also bullfight paintings. This is because Picasso’s uncle took his nephew to a bullfight for the first time in Malaga. Bulls and bullfighting would be a theme that would stay with Picasso and become a metaphor for his enduring obsessions: virility and the fight against the passage of time and the inevitability of death. The exhibit also gathered works of the sea; a frigate capsizing that Picasso saw in an anonymous oil painting and drew two years later; fishermen and fish vendors as well as other popular figures: soldiers, nannies that Picasso saw as a child and continued to paint when he had achieved maturity as an artist... more