Pablo Picasso only lived in Malaga for ten years of his nearly century-long life, but despite his short stay, the artist’s influence can be seen everywhere in the city. From the Picasso Museum to the Picasso-inspired souvenirs in the shops, Malaga and Picasso form an inseparable tandem.
Every year in October, special events celebrate his birthday (25th October) and the legacy of Picasso in Malaga. 2018 is the 137th anniversary of his birth – read our guide to what’s on this year in honour of one of the world’s greatest artists.
Note that information about events on this page refers to dates in 2018. Bookmark the page for news on events celebrating Picasso in October 2019.
Celebrating Picasso in Malaga with doves
And thousands of them. One of the main events in Malaga to mark Picasso’s birthday are the doves down the façade of his birthplace. This year, the multi-coloured doves get an industrial look as they’re be inside transparent tubes around the building. Doves also decorate key buildings around La Plaza de la Merced. Look out for the flocks of doves between 25 and 28 October.
This year’s commemorations include a giant celebration of culture. 1,000 black and white photos of people from the world of culture in Malaga will adorn Plaza de la Merced between 19 and 21 October. The installation called “Inside Out” will cover the entire plaza and is well worth seeking out.
Other events celebrating Picasso in Malaga
This year’s programme of events celebrating Picasso’s birthday also includes several performances. All take place on his birthday (Wednesday 25 October) at his house of his birth. And all are free events.
Meet Picasso’s parents
The Fundación Picasso opens its door on Saturday 27 October between 8pm and 10pm so visitors can meet Picasso’s parents. The 2 actors playing María Picasso López and José Ruiz Blasco will tell visitors stories and anecdotes about Picasso’s life at the home and his early days in Malaga.
The Fundación Picasso offers a chance to see the Genius documentary (10 episodes), recently filmed by National Geographic and starring Antonio Banderas as Picasso. Sessions take place every evening between 6pm and 8pm on Monday 22, Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October.
The print on the paper
Although Picasso always claimed he didn’t do any illustrations, he actually drew hundreds.The Fundación Picasso celebrates his illustrations with a new exhibition opening on 24 October called ‘The Print on the Paper’. The exhibition showcases some of the 500 illustrations by Picasso in the 54 books owned by the Foundation. Open daily 9.30am to 8pm until 18 November.
15th anniversary of the Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum celebrates its 15th anniversary this year with several big events. Most take place on Saturday 27 October and include open doors (free entry) to the museum itself where several activities will be taking place. There’s also an open-air painting competition in the area around the museum between 9am and 6.30pm.
During the rest of the year, you can find Picasso:
- In the Plaza de la Merced on a bench outside his birthplace. He’s looking very relaxed – notice the flip flops.
- In front of the Cervantes Theatre in the form of a mural depicting 6 portraits of him throughout his life. Look more closely and you’ll see that the entire mural is made up of words in several languages about Malaga. We think this is a really unusual way of celebrating Picasso’s creativity.
- In the half hand, half dove sculpture in Calle Bolsa, off Calle Larios.
- And of course at the Picasso Museum. The permanent collection walks you through his artistic life from first paintings to later ceramics, a great way to trace the changes in his style and influences. Open daily 10am to 7pm (6pm November to February). €7.
Happy Birthday Picasso!