The revived comparsa “Visca Picasso!” will also participate in some of the folk culture events at La Mercè. It is made up of cubist capgrossos [“big-heads”] and gegantons [giants] designed by the artist, illustrator and stage designer Joan J. Guillén. The comparsa [troupe] was founded in the 1980s, and now it is being revived while maintaining its original aesthetic, but with a new version of its dances, on the initiative of the Barcelona Institute of Culture to mark the commemoration of 50 years since Picasso’s death and the creation of the Picasso Museum.
This Mercè, you can find it in the Cavalcada [Parade], which this year, to mark Picasso Year, will be called “La Cavalcada de les Arts” [The Parade of the Arts], and will bring together a set of giants and figures related to art, like the comparsa. You can also find it performing in different Barcelona neighbourhoods:
Saturday 23 September in La Marina del Prat Vermell (plaça del Moviment Obrer): at 11:30 am and 12:30, 5 and 6 pm.
Sunday 24 September in Sarrià (plaça de Sarrià): 11:30 am and 12:30 pm.
Monday 25 September in Trinitat Vella (Metro Trinitat Vella, at the park exit): at 11:30 am and 12:30, 5 and 6 pm.
The featured figure in the comparsa “Visca Picasso!” is the artist himself, represented as a capgròs [“big-head”], one of the most popular figures in street comparsas. Plus, there are two other figures that are very common in Catalan folk activities at festivals: the male and female giants, who in the comparsa Visca Picasso! are given the appearance and meaning of a Harlequin from the painter’s Blue Period and a Menina from the series that the painter donated to the city. There are also figures of little horses and mulasses [giant mules], vibries [she-dragons) and other magical animals, which are embodied by figures that represent the horse and the bull from Picasso’s paintingGuernica in the comparsa Visca Picasso! Plus, three figures in the comparsa are holding musical instruments and form the group’s band. They are the Three Cubist Musicians, the Faun and the Woman of Boisgeloup, all inspired by different periods and styles in the painter’s career.