Time, nothingness, the degradation of material things... Miquel Barceló shapes his vital imaginarium around a series of concepts of circular evolution that by their very essence lack resolution. His innate curiosity and his capacity for experimentation complete his artistic personality, a modern version of the Renaissance man. Like Michaelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci, Barceló investigates techniques and materials until he achieves a final product that provides a new and personalized solution to the necessity presented.
It was Paris, once again, that was the origin of the real amalgam that makes up Miquel Barcelo’s artistic body of work. There he came into contact with Art Brut in the 1970s. When he returned to Spain, Barceló initiated an intense investigative process about the liberation of Art and the great figures who fascinated him: Tintoretto, Miró, Tàpies and Millares. From these last two artists he acquired an interest in materials, and it was during that period when his canvases, ever larger and larger, began to be filled with thick coats of pictorial material in which oil, varnish, soil and disposable materials follow one another. He didn’t reject fruits and vegetables either, creating a new language for the traditional concept of the still life. In that same plastic line, he also created libraries and museums that are now part of Art History.
But the Barceló we know today would not be what he is without his African experience. An innate traveller, the Dark Continent had attracted him for a long time, without a doubt, since his adolescence, and it was there that the artist sank roots that did more than simply feed him -- they sustained him. Africa was revelation for Barceló: the light, the aromas and the ancient sounds soaked deep into his soul like a long desired experience, and the adobes and woods meshed to perfection in his expressive universe. The need to trap everything he had contemplated led him to turn to techniques that were almost photographic, in which his pencil, water colors and paper would be the necessary tools for a long series of snapshots that now fill museums all over the world with the African soul. The spectacular light of the African continent and the immensity of its open spaces bring much more than the purification of concepts and elements to his work. From that time on, Barceló increased the size of his paintings even more.
From that African experience, nothing would affect Barceló more profoundly than the exuberant marketplaces where dead meat is exhibited hanging in the sun. Bloody skulls and flies appeared before his perplexed eyes while the intense aromas of death created lasting memories in the artist’s mind. The vision of a hanging goat, in numerous shapes and variations, went on to occupy a privileged place in most of his paintings and etchings. In this way, it transcended the state of the real object to become a pure archetype. It became an obsession for Barceló.