With Pablo Picasso’s unique, inventive style in all its glory, the aptly named Picasso statue in Chicago was his gift to the city. At 50 feet tall, it stands tall in the plaza in which it was placed. Before its arrival to the city, most of the public art and sculpture was traditional and historic. Picasso’s contemporary structure
and Cubist design redefined Chicago’s outdoor art and to this day is one of its most beloved pieces of culture. It has become a landmark and meeting spot as well, cementing its significance to the city.
Welded in steel, the massive sculpture features a face and delicate details. Its subject is abstract and up to interpretation (and often, debate by Chicagoans,) complicated by the fact that perception of the piece differs depending on your distance to it. Designed by Picasso in a small model, it was built in the United States at the nearby US Steel Company and made its debut in 1967. It does not
have a title, which is how it came to be known as simply “The Picasso.”
The Picasso statue is located in the Richard J. Daley Plaza Civic Center on Washington Street in downtown Chicago’s Loop. It is open to public 24 hours a day, free of charge.