Otero Photographic Collection
The Museo Picasso Málaga acquired the photographic archive of Roberto Otero, more than 1,500 images that depict, in the most exceptional way, Pablo Picasso’s everyday life and creative processes in the 1960s. Under the title Picasso Seen By Otero, the MPM presented a selection from this archive from 17 July to 3 September 2006. The exhibition featured 62 photographs illustrating the great Andalusian artist’s most intimate moments. This extraordinary documentary archive was completed by documents on the exhibitions Otero gave on Picasso, his notebooks and nearly 500 books about the artist’s work, the latter donated by Otero’s sister, Angelines.
Roberto Otero (Trenque Lauquen, Buenos Aires, 1931 – Palma de Mallorca, 2004) was one of the leading photographers who regularly photographed moments from Pablo Picasso’s private life during the last years of his life, when he was living in his house in Mougins, in the south of France. Otero’s relations with the great painter, whom he met through the art critic Ricardo Baeza and the writer José Bergamín, were further strengthened by his family ties with Rafael Alberti. This close contact enabled him to build up a large photographic archive, almost a huge family album, that provides an extraordinary record of the Andalusian artist’s everyday life.
These photographs, together with written records of conversations with the artist and books by the Argentinian photographer himself, paint a genuine, living portrait of Picasso, showing himto be affectionate with his friends, fond of jokes, happy with his wife, Jacqueline, and simple in his habits. Otero’s work brings us closer to the man who lived behind the veneer of the successful artist.
This valuable archive now forms part of the Museo Picasso Málaga Archive Collection, which acquired the material on 16 December 2005 following Otero’s death in 2004. Having carried out an exhaustive and painstaking inventory, the MPM Archive is currently cataloguing all this material and entering it onto a database that will be available for consultation at the MPM Library from 2007.
Picasso Seen By Otero
To present this new acquisition to the public, the Museo Picasso Málaga organized an exhibition, entitled Picasso Seen By Otero, featuring a selection of the most representative photographs from the Otero Archive. The exhibition, open until 3 September, comprised a total of 62 images – 28 in color and 34 in black and white – selected according to their documentary value. They showed the artist with his family, friends and visitors over the last decade of his life, with particular emphasis on pictures taken in the summer of 1966, which the Albertis spent in the south of France.
These photographs showed Picasso with friends and other artists, such as the painters Joan Miró, his childhood friend Manuel Pallarès i Grau, the photographer Edward Steichen, the art collector Joseph Hirshhorn and, particularly, the poet Rafael Alberti. The maestro is also portrayed with his works, posing beside them or working in his studio. In disguise, at the bullfight or chatting with his wife, Jacqueline, Picasso is completely natural, not posing but simply allowing himself to be photographed in his most private nooks and crannies.
Picasso Seen By Otero introduced the work of this Argentinian photographer who, in turn opens to the public a window onto the great Andalusian artist’s private, personal universe, a place so small that only his most intimate friends could gain access to it, revealing to us the reality behind what would later become the myth.