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Miquel Barceló

Spanish  •  b. 1957

Biography

Drawing inspiration from work by Diego Velázquez and art-making practices of the Avant-garde, Miquel Barceló is perhaps most popular for his hybridization of traditional Spanish figurative aesthetics and thick, abstract brushstrokes. Barceló is inherently drawn to that which is multimedia, having received training in installation work, painting and ceramic. This ability to work across various mediums comes from the artist's hunger for travel and exploring new lands.

Currently based between Mallorca, Mali and Paris, Barceló incorporates the visual aesthetics of his disparate countries seamlessly into his work. The artist's concern involves how to translate different modes of travel and culture into art-making. One recurring topic in his body of work is the ocean — the ultimate symbol of movement, displacement and the unknown.

Insights

  • Barceló was the youngest artist to ever exhibit at the Louvre in 2004.

  • In 2008, Barceló presented a large work at the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Chamber in the U.N.'s Palace of Nations in Geneva.

  • A highlight from a 2017 Evening Sale of 20th Century & Contemporary Art at Phillips Berkeley Square, Barceló's violently impastoed Muletero, 1990 (£2,949,000) continues a Spanish tradition of bullfight paintings passed on from Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Pablo Picasso and others.

"I think it is a part of my job to invent new techniques—the right technique for everything."

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