The four young artists who created the mural at the Alianza Francesa. SUR
Young things

Young things

In Picasso's footsteps... A fresh take on existential angst


Friday, 17 March 2023, 10:02


Can you hear that flourish of paso doble-like drumrolls heralding Celebration Picasso 1973-2023: the international art scene's grand parade of events linked to the 50th anniversary of the death of Malaga's eternal "favourite son"? Brit fashion designer extraordinaire Paul Smith has given the Musée Picasso in Paris a multi-hued makeover featuring wallpaper that echoes his signature bright-coloured shirt stripes, and - speaking of jubilees - Museo Picasso Málaga will be celebrating its twentieth with two major tributes; the first (Picasso: Matter and Body) opens in May, heading next for Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum, while the second will highlight the mega iconic artist's influence on future generations.

In the same celebratory spirit, the Malagueta bullring's Cultural Centre (Paseo Reding, 9) presents Picasso y los Años Dorados de la Costa Azul (Picasso and the Golden Years of the Côte d'Azur); this recently inaugurated exhibition incorporating 142 "Pablo moments" seized by Irish photographer Edward Quinn will be the perfect accompaniment to a festive Picassian bullfight scheduled on 8 April (the day of this eminently photogenic aficionado's passing). Even the most adamant anti-corrida opponents may succumb to the charm of Quinn's candidly captured family and celebrity snaps, filled with Mediterranean joie de vivre.

Guernica paved the way for the bold graphic effects and dramatic imagery deployed by urban artists today

Ephemeral mural

L'Émotion du Moment is the title of a collective project exploring the mood of the moment, to be seen until 27 May at the Alianza Francesa French language institute and cultural centre (Calle Canales, 11 -within steps of María Zambrano train station). Taking its cue from Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) poet Charles Baudelaire and the existential angst he expressed in numerous essays, the star attraction of this collaboration between YMAs (Young Malaga-based Artists) is a striking ephemeral mural. Perhaps because it consists of converging black and white symbols and distorted figures, Picasso's Guernica springs to mind, but the comparison with the 20th century trailblazer stops there. The acute sense of terror and physical pain associated with the Civil War bombings is absent from this stream of consciousness collaboration spotlighting the mental health issues that affected so many youngsters under lockdown.

Tattoo artist Diego alias Flores Cósmico explains that his fellow participants, who all go by pseudonyms (Misfortune, Cristóbal Lápiz, Perpetual), pooled their resources, in "cocktail shaker" mode: "We brainstormed, each of us coming up with ideas, which we wove into the final result, using a projector."

Nobody's business

Only 22 and Almost Famous (if you remember the movie, you're showing your age...), Eva aka VAZ discussed her thought-provoking installation at Galería JM (Calle Duquesa de Parcent, 12 - in the arty Soho district - till 13 May), over a beer. A friend of Diego's, VAZ rolled up her sleeve to reveal a tattoo by... guess who? Flores Cósmico.

The main thread of her basement show, incorporating black ink drawings of little "Nobodies" - caught in the labyrinth of existence (represented by expanses of parallel hatching or unbroken circular lines) - is the concept of "heterotopia" (alternative spaces within spaces) developed by French Theory philosopher Michel Foucault. "I fell in love with it, and took it one step further."

About to move on, this Malaga-born English-speaker - a St George's alumna, who studied fine art in Dublin and London as a teen - is the kind of kid who doesn't stay in any one place too long. Next stop: Berlin, for a two-year art-related MA focusing on "space strategies". What else?

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