Art Exhibit: The Mirror And The Mask – Portraiture In The Age of Picasso

The Mirror and the Mask - Portraiture in the Age of Picasso
The Mirror and the Mask Portraiture in the Age of Picasso
Two locations :
(Free! Annex location) Fundacion Caja Madrid – Plaza San Martin, 1
Tues to Sun 10:00 – 20:00
(Not free! Main location – 9 euros) Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Paseo del Prado, 8
Tues to Sun 10:00 – 19:00
Feb 6 to May 20, 2007

De-Botoxing the Genre – Portraiture doesn’t have to be boring

We’ve all grudgingly wandered through the portrait galleries of museums gazing at the anemic-looking royal subjects secretly wondering how they attained that level of un-emotion in a pre-Botox society. In comparison with these sullen-faced bourgeoisie, the still life canvasses in the previous room suddenly look frenetic with activity.

The Mirror and the Mask – Portraiture in the Age of Picasso rescues the genre from these dreaded preconceptions by focusing on the provocative period between 1890 and 1990.

During this time, radical societal change made us question who we were and the introduction of the camera relieved us of the onus of literal interpretation – the results are as playful and profound as you can imagine.

Presenting work from all of the greats including Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Lucian Freud and more, the show inadvertently doubles as a crash course in art history.

A world away from the pompous paintings of past generations, the exhibition reanimates the ancient conundrum of self perception.

Andrew Poole

SuperMartxe – Sunday Night Mega-Club

Intrepid journalist Risks Life and Limb Among Gold Thongs and Bold Make Up to Deliver the Story!

La Riviera is a huge concert venue, and during the summer it’s used once a month to host a party for those considerate people who, for whatever reason, think Sunday has been cruelly overlooked by partiers around the world, and is probably feeling somewhat left-out.

Walking in from the lazy spring afternoon into the enormous, dark, frenetic, complex, with techno pounding and thousands of people dancing below you is a bizarre experience – one which even a full weekend of partying won’t prepare you for. However, the excitement in the air (and the alcohol in my drink) helped this intrepid reporter rise to the occasion.

The size of the main dance floor is impressive, and more impressive is how packed it gets regardless. The crowd is relatively mixed, but is dominated by a particular group: pristine homosexual men, wearing eye-wateringly stylish clothes, some of them with muscles bigger than anything I’ve seen in comic books. Most of the latter were topless (who needs oil when you have so much sweat?). There were a few women as well, equally impressively attired in designer gowns and bold make-up.

On the stage you could feast your eyes on various dancers, from the Adonis-in-gold-thong variety to nipple-tasselled ladies, and several variations in-between.

If this part of the venue turns out to be a bit much, there’s a smaller area up some stairs where you will find seating and another DJ, also playing techno, but with perhaps a bit more grit in it. Here, I came across a different kind of night creature: sleepy-looking teenagers disaffectedly two-stepping to the music as they limply passed a joint around. It provided a good counter-point to the intensiveness downstairs.

A good place to go for people who don’t work on Monday.

SuperMartxe (Sunday nights)

Venue: La Riviera

Paseo bajo de la Virgen del Puerto, 3

913 652 415

Metro: Piramides, Puerta del Angel, Puerta de Toledo

Entrance: 15 Euros (free before 20:00 with a flyer)

Drink average: 9 Euros per cocktail

To go to the main Music Venues and Clubs page click here

Michael Beeson

Las Horas Café – A Clandestined Café

While some cafes in Madrid give you the feeling of being seen, Las Horas Café provides you with the opposite sensation – that of being pleasantly clandestine.

Lanterns and candles on the wall, antiquated tables, and murals all awash in Earth-tone colors give you the feeling that you are in a desert hide-a-way. They have cleverly divided the space into three areas adding to the cozy and concealed effect.

By day the café is the perfect place for a beverage and a tosta or perhaps a coffee and desert. By night the mood changes and the tables are swept aside in favor of dancing. According to the owners the music is decidedly retro – in this case perhaps the 80s (emphasis on the Spanish side of the 80s).

During the evening hours there are some tantalizing offers as well: Friday and Saturday between 21:00 and 23:00 there are one-euro cañas.

The space is still young and defining itself, but one to keep your eye on. It looks especially good for the summer months when occasionally you want nothing more than to escape the sun and heat.

Las Horas Café
Calle Magdalena, 32
Metro: Antón Martin


El Horno – Gym, Dance Studio, Hub of Acting

El Horno Gym, Dance Studio, Hub of Acting

El Horno

Calle Esgrima, 11

Metro: Tirso de Molina

Mon to Fri 10:00-23 (22 in summer), Sat 10 to 7

T. 91 527 57 01

From Techno-Meringue Dance to Just Plain Working Out, El Horno is the Answer

El Horno is an interesting hybrid organization combining a gym and a dance studio while functioning as a hub of acting as well. Far from having any sort of institutional presence, the building is full of skylights, plants and wood trim producing a refreshingly relaxed environment.

Upstairs in the dance studios, the offerings are impressive. From classical ballet to bollywood and from Spanish Flamenco to techno-meringue, you should be able to find some way to get your groove on.

The medium-sized gym downstairs has all of the standard machines and free-weights along with exercise bikes and treadmills. Friendly staff-members will design workouts for you free of charge and the high-energy music will keep you inspired. The clientele are primarily in the 20-to-40 range and predominantly male; however, as a neighbourhood joint it lacks the attitude of some of the larger or more upscale establishments.

To join El Horno is only 30 euros. To use the gym is 49.50 euros a month with no obligations: you only pay for months in which you renew your pass. The dance classes are more variable in terms of payment. You can pay per month (average 50 euros) or use coupons for individual classes. The typical class costs 1.5 coupons and the coupon packets are 12 for 84 euros (7 euros a ticket therefore about 10 euros a class).

As mentioned, El Horno is also known as a hub of acting. The bulletin boards are full of theatre events and castings – many of which are held on site.

Anyway, after a vigorous workout either downstairs or upstairs you can also relax with a massage.


Jose Alfredos – Lounge/Bar

The Lounge-iest Bar in the City

Have you been desperately searching for a bar that looks like a 1920s speak-easy, sounds like a 1970s lounge and was inspired by traditional Mexican Rancheros? We, at MAP Magazine, figured as much and out of sheer devotion to you, our beloved readers, went through the painstaking process of finding you one. In case you are curious, it’s called Jose Alfredo’s.

You may assume that you’d have to travel to the ends of the earth or at least out of the center (yikes!) to find such a rarified bar, but, luckily, it’s about 20 meters from Gran Via, smack dab in the middle of the city.

Entering the bar you may not be immediately impressed. Although is nicely decorated and well kept up, it doesn’t grab you until you venture to the back room – it’s then that you enter “the lounge zone”.

This tiered room with sofas galore is ambiently lit with crystal-ball like orbs glowing moodily from the tables. Each sofa, accompanied by comfortably padded chairs, is separated by small banisters giving your party ample room. Walls lined with mirrors amplify this spacious effect.

The music is similarly mellow, although they amp it up a bit at peak times; it almost always tends toward the 1970s groove/funk end of the spectrum.

And true to its cocktail-lounge aesthetic, the bar doesn’t disappoint offering 20 types of cocktails including Gimlets, Mojitos, Manhattans, and many more all for the pleasing price of 7 euros.

Quick historical explanation: the bar was started by a group of men who were fanatical about the Mexican ranchero singer, Jose Alfredo Gimenez. For reasons not known they decided to give the bar an old-fashioned lounge look. Three years ago, several of their employees, some of whom look hardly old enough to work in a bar let alone own one, purchased the establishment. They are similarly fascinated by music, but of a different sort – 1970s African-America inspired grooves. Hence you get this mix which can only be called… post-modern?

But whatever you call it, it works. If you are interested in getting a table arrive early or take your chances.

Jose Alfredo’s
Calle de Silva, 22
Tues-Thurs 21:00-2:30; Fri-Sat 21:00 to 3; Sun-Mon closed
(hours may change according to season)

Andrew Poole

To go to the main Music Venues and Clubs page click here