Picasso ‘corpse’ causes a stir at the start of Madrid art fair
The legendary Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso is the focus of this year’s ARCO 2023, the contemporary art fair held in Madrid, a half-century after his death.
The 42nd ARCO was opened on Thursday by the King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia.
A hyper-realistic replica of Picasso’s “corpse,” wearing a blue-and-white striped shirt typical of the artist and laid out on a kind of tombstone, is the star exhibit.
Spanish artist Eugenio Merino’s sensational sculpture, entitled “Aquí murió Picasso” (Here Picasso died), is a denunciation of the exploitation of the figure of the artist for commercial and tourist purposes, especially in Picasso’s native city of Málaga.
Long queues of onlookers quickly formed in front of the work, which is on the market for €45,000 ($47,600), according to the newspaper El País.
Many visitors took photos and selfies. So far they are all invited guests – including politicians, art dealers, collectors and journalists – as the fair does not open to the general public until Friday. By Sunday, the organizers expect around 100,000 visitors.
Alongside this sculpture, numerous works by Picasso himself, who together with the Frenchman Georges Braque is considered the founder of Cubism, are on display at the IFEMA exhibition centre in the Spanish capital.
There is no guest country at ARCO this year. The theme is “The Mediterranean: A Round Sea.”
A total of 211 galleries from three dozen countries are taking part in ARCO 2023. After the host country Spain, Germany is the most strongly represented, with 29 galleries showing works.
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