Málaga’s cultural life was understandably affected by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. However, the city’s diverse hub of museums, art galleries, theatres, and other cultural exhibitions and monuments still managed to put on a grand show – albeit initially only in an online format and later with strict protocols in place once they opened to the public. Several events continue into the new year, as local art and cultural establishments regroup and fine-tune their 2021 schedules. Here are two well worth a visit to Málaga in January and February


La Térmica Málaga is hosting the first world exhibition featuring American musician Marilyn Manson, by British photographer Ralph Perou. Admission is free and the show continues until 22 January at the provincial government’s contemporary culture centre. “Marilyn Manson: 21 Years in Hell” is a review of Manson’s most iconic moments, featuring snapshots taken by Perou over the past two decades, as his main photographer since 1968. The photographs are conceptual portraits and works “behind the scenes” – or, as Perou jokes, “behind the obscene” – and they are also published in a book by Reel Art Press that contains more than 350 photographs of the musician taken by the same photographer. Most of those being shown at La Térmica have never been seen published on paper before, and none of them have been exhibited previously in a photographic display. Considered to be one of the world’s finest portraitists, Perou has also collaborated with Al Gore, David Attenborough, Led Zeppelin, Coldplay, Damien Hirst, Gillian Anderson, David Beckham, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, the Spice Girls, Tracey Emin and U2.


Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga is showing Miki Leal’s “Gente conocida/Derecho a entrar” (“Familiar People/Right to Enter”) exhibition until 21 February. Launched in December and curated by Alberto Martín, the exhibition comprises nearly 100 works including paintings on paper and ceramics. They have been created over the past 15 years, some especially for this show, and they cover a fascinating array of themes… samurais, still-lifes, jazz, tennis, cinema, dandies, books, landscapes, portraits and bananas. According to the contemporary arts centre, Leal’s pieces “invite viewers to interpret and decipher the different plots and secrets they hold”.

The title of the exhibition refers to “a superficial or profound relationship between texts, pictorial genres and influences of painters that generate an ongoing dialogue with Leal’s works, establishing ties with those ‘familiar people’”. The Sevilla artist defines his working method as anarchic. “He begins with a very basic sketch and then writes the work as if it were a script for starting from a blank canvas on which he paints from the ground up, adding layer after layer of heavily thinned paint to create glazes that give the piece a different personality. Miki Leal’s works create a theatrical atmosphere between figuration and abstraction, a narrative setting that invites us to step into an imaginary world.”



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