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Picasso passes the baton to Dalí | Culture

Recently I asked a person with strong ties to the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death — 2023 was filled to the brim with related events — what new perspectives had been introduced by the yearlong celebration. They didn’t hesitate: it had reinforced Picasso’s link to Spain by underscoring his lesser-known ties to the country’s everyday life, from A Coruña to strolls down the Prado Museum. The answer led me to reflect. Picasso, despite having garnered little sympathy from the Francoist authorities, has been one of the greatest representatives of “Spanishness.” Gertrude Stein spoke in 1938 of an “orientalist” Picasso, one who embodies the well-known Spanish temperament, that which had fascinated French writers and artists since before Manet. In other words, Picasso was “exotic,” ma non troppo, similar to the Spain constructed by the country’s Royal Tourist Board in the campaigns it displayed in France in 1929: “The comfort of Europe / the exuberance of Africa / await you in Spain.”

That combination has haunted the clichéd image of the “Spanish Picasso.” From bullfighting to passion, as emphasized in the long profile on the artist, forever associated with Spanish art and poetry, in Life magazine in 1968, Picasso has embodied a certain yearning expressed at the reopening of Paris’s Picasso Museum in 2015 by the then-president of the French republic, François Hollande: “Pablo Picasso, the Spaniard, the republican, the communist, is the pride of France.” And yet, France was late in reclaiming Picasso, reflected Annie Cohen-Solal in Picasso the Foreigner (2023). The text — one of the most novel works on the artist, along with Mercedes Guillén’s Spanish language Picasso con los exiliados [Picasso with the exiled] (2023) — documents the artist’s difficulties being accepted in France. Persecuted as an anarchist, excluded from public collections for decades, with various failed attempts at getting his French citizenship… Cohen-Solal’s Picasso supports the thesis of John Berger’s dazzling The Success and Failure of Picasso (1965): upon his arrival in Paris, the Malaga-born artist was as much of an outcast foreigner as his circus characters or the bohemians in his print The Frugal Meal.

Despite it all, one could argue that in Spain, Picasso is perceived as “very French,” a New Wave character in his sailor suit that Chanel made fashionable. What is interesting is Picasso’s handling of these ambivalences, his deliberate adoption of each stereotype into his persona, which, just like his work, is plagued by mixtures and erasures. In this sense, the numerous photographs for which Picasso posed throughout his life are eloquent. Through them, the idea of an artist self-absorbed in creation, disdainful of his public image, the one that canonical narrative places in opposition to that of Dalí — and not only due to their political ideals — is broken. Dalí is the celebrity and Picasso the creator; Dalí is the character and Picasso the artist without fissure. Here, defenders of Picasso despise those of Dalí, appealing to the perfect excuse: Picasso was a republican hero and Dalí a mundane conservative, fascinated by money and fame.

Salvador Dalí, portrayed during an interview in Madrid in 1978.
Salvador Dalí, portrayed during an interview in Madrid in 1978.Raúl Cancio (El País)

However, this polarization — that buzzword — is another kind of scenography, and perhaps both artists share more than what canonical history — as interpreted by either faction — would have us believe. Both, excellent painters and performers, were media personalities by choice, given that the one who poses before the camera controls the narrative. This aspect has perhaps been missing from the numerous exhibitions from 2023′s Año Picasso: an in-depth look at the performer Picasso that reveals his relationship with the power of images and the mass media; an Instagrammer Picasso that would exhibit his interest in the construction of the “Picasso character,” similar to that of Dalí despite appearances, although often denied in order to give prominence to the conventional image of the great master that suits the canonical discourse. A pity, because it would have offered a contemporary re-reading of this artist, who has been put in dialogue with the old masters, has been confronted with living artists to varying degrees of success, and has been related to his friends, Stein in Paris, a marvelous exhibition, or Kahnweiler in Barcelona.

In this era of cancellations, Me Too and the LGBTQI+ community, we have become entangled more than anything in Picasso’s relationship with genderIt’s Pablo-matic, at the Brooklyn Museum — and even in his homosexual overtones, subtly suggested by endorsed by Von Gloeden’s photographs in the beautiful exhibition Picasso 1906, at Madrid’s Reina Sofia. Or maybe Año Picasso, the collaborative public project between France and Spain, has bet first of all on the great artist Picasso to settle the historical debt that both countries, it seems, had with him for different reasons. In this catharsis, there was no place for the performative.

But if Año Picasso came to an end at the stroke of midnight, Picasso has passed the baton over to Dalí for the 120th anniversary of the 1904 birth of the Catalan artist. A Picassoian told me that the score is not even and it will not be the two countries’ catharsis for obvious reasons, but there will certainly be revisions, and I wonder what they will be, in addition to the old political reproaches. It will be interesting to rethink Dalí from the Me Too and LGBTQI+ perspectives, which have permeated so many conversations about Picasso, for on this point the Catalan’s resume is impeccable, between García Lorca, the androgynous Amanda Lear and his great love, Gala, whom he not only painted. He shared with her authorship in “his best works,” building the queerest caper, a certain liquid identity in a signature signed by a single person: Gala Salvador Dalí. Moreover, in this same vein, Dalí himself announced that in the future, things would never be the same.

Pablo Picasso
Picasso, in front of one of his paintings in his Cannes home.George Stroud (Getty)

Perhaps his fascination with the future is what led him to become interested so early on in DNA. I remember seeing him on television in my childhood, when there was only one channel, with his mustache, talking about molecular structures. Most people took him for a joke: another artistic eccentricity. In that black and white Spain, Dalí was talking about the future, and I wonder now if it was his form of rebellion against the established. In matters relating to science, Dalí was well ahead of television viewers, including Picasso, almost certainly.

As a preview of the celebration, the Gala Salvador Dalí Foundation has invited from Scotland Dalí’s well-known Christ, painted in 1951. The exhibition, which presents the process of execution of the work, reproduces the scenography devised by Dalí himself, and the lighting gives new perspective on the impressive painting as seen from the present, the 120th anniversary. What if the painting was much more than a religious image? Between Christ and Cap de Creus, which was a recurring landscape for the painter, an amalgam of apparent clouds reinforces the separation between heaven and earth. But no, they are not clouds. They are somewhat reminiscent of the first images of our planet taken from outer space in the late 1940s and published in the early 1950s. Suddenly, the perspective of the painting reveals a premonition of the world as seen from outside: the well-known image of the Earth from the Moon, published years later.

If it’s true that the Año Picasso has served us in speaking of gender and returning Picasso to the Spanish everyday — among other things — perhaps the commemoration of Dalí will serve to rethink his extraordinary timelessness: how in that television interview, he was talking about something fundamental that he had intuited before anyone else, that would later fill the conversation and work of so many artists. Those who are of the now: the passion for science.

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Assessing Property Size: What Square Footage Can You Get With The Average UK House Price In Your Area?

Assessing Property Size In The UK

In the United Kingdom, there is a prevailing tendency to gauge the size of residences based on the number of bedrooms rather than square footage. In fact, research indicates that three out of five individuals are unaware of the square footage of their property.

However, a comprehensive analysis conducted by Savills reveals significant variations in property sizes throughout the country. For instance, with the average property price standing at £340,837, this amount would typically afford a studio flat spanning 551 square feet in London, according to the prominent estate agency.

Conversely, in the North East region, the same sum would secure a spacious five-bedroom house measuring 1,955 square feet, nearly four times the size of a comparable property in London.

Best value: Heading to the North East of England is where buyers will get the most from their money

In Scotland, the median house price equates to a sizable investment capable of procuring a generous four-bedroom residence spanning 1,743 square feet. Conversely, in Wales, Yorkshire & The Humber, and the North West, this sum affords a slightly smaller four-bedroom dwelling of approximately 1,500 square feet, while in the East and West Midlands, it accommodates a 1,300 square foot home. In stark contrast, within the South West, £340,837 secures a modest 1,000 square foot property, and in the East, an even more confined 928 square feet.

London presents the most challenging market, where this budget offers the least purchasing power. Following closely, the South East allows for 825 square feet of space or a medium-sized two-bedroom dwelling. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, emphasizes the profound disparity in purchasing potential across Britain, ranging from compact studio flats in London to spacious four or five-bedroom residences in parts of North East England.

While square footage serves as a critical metric, with a significant portion of Britons unfamiliar with their property’s dimensions, the number of bedrooms remains a traditional indicator of size. Personal preferences, such as a preference for larger kitchens, may influence property selection. For those prioritizing ample space, Easington, County Durham, offers a substantial 2,858 square foot, five-bedroom home, while Rhondda, Wales, and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland, provide 2,625 and 2,551 square feet, respectively. Conversely, in St Albans, Hertfordshire, £340,837 secures a mere 547 square feet, equivalent to a one-bedroom flat.

The disparity continues in central London, where purchasing power diminishes considerably. In Kensington, the budget accommodates a mere 220 square feet, contrasting with the slightly more spacious 236 square feet in Westminster. Conversely, in Dagenham, the same investment translates to 770 square feet. Three properties currently listed on Rightmove exemplify the diversity within this price range across the UK market.

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

South of the river: This semi-detached house is located near to three different train stations

2. Lewisham: One-bed house, £345,000

This one-bedroom property in Lewisham, South London, is on the market for £345,000.

The semi-detached house is set over two floors, and has a private patio.

The property is located near to bus links and amenities, as well as Catford train station.

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

Edinburgh fringe: This three-bed property is located on the edge of the city, near to the town of Musselburgh

3. Edinburgh: Three-bed house, £350,000

This three-bedroom detached house in Edinburgh could be yours for £350,000.

The house, which has a two-car driveway, boasts a large kitchen diner, and is within easy reach of Newcriaghall train station.


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Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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