Madrid’s ARCO contemporary art fair is well underway and one of the most talked about works on view is a sculptural corpse of Pablo Picasso. Created by Spanish artist Eugenio Merino in collaboration with Los Interventores and ADN Gallery, ‘Aquí Murió Picasso’ (Picasso Died Here), 2017, features the larger-than-life artist laying on a plinth in his signature Breton shirt and linen trousers.
The sculpture is exaggerated on multiple levels. Firstly, the work measures 6 feet long, while Picasso was actually 5 feet and 4 inches tall. Additionally, Merino and the curators involved looked to critique the spectacle that has become of modern day art fairs — where selfies and tourism have arguably taken over the experience of viewing and buying art.
In an interview with ARTnews, Merino explains how the sculpture was inspired by Dean MacCannell’s 1976 book, The Tourist. “Institutions and companies wash their image in culture”, said Merino, adding, “that’s why it’s important that this work presents itself, openly, as an object to be sold but also from which to extract symbolic value. A place where a ‘tourist art consumer’ can have its selfie…a souvenir that reminds us they were here, where Picasso died. Obviously, it’s as fake as any tourist attraction”.
For those looking to purchase, ‘Aquí Murió Picasso’ (Picasso Died Here), 2017 is an edition of three and sells for €45,000 EUR / $47,448 USD. ARCO is on view in Madrid until February 26.
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