Miquel Barceló. Octopus Life

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I’d live like an octopus
Eating crabs and praws by night
Hiding inside the barracks during the hours of sun
I would hardly ever go to the Ciutat, or the mass, or the market
I wouldn’t do anything all day but observe the collections of shells of hairy crabs and barnacles
I would be careful with the eels, but I’d entertain myself watching a sip of suspended ink, lush (circumspect) always about to spit a definitive black glob and end any conversation

Alchi Notebook, Bangkok, Paris, Mallorca, Delhi, 2018. Miguel Barceló

Barceló Brought the Sea to Madrid

From January 19 until March 30 the exhibition Miquel Barceló. Octopus Life will be on display at the Galería Elvira González. The exhibition is composed of 29 works, among paintings, drawings, and ceramics, made by Miquel Barceló (Felanitx, 1957) during the last two years. Also on display are some of the illustrations Barceló drew for the book Fausto, published by Galaxia Gutemberg.  A catalog has been published by the gallery that includes two notebooks with drawings that document the process of creation of every one of the works, along with poems and reflections.


The spontaneity of his gestures, strokes, and colors is that of someone who has the easiness and the encouragement of freedom of speech. Miquel Barceló, through his works, tells us that his reason for painting is as simple as wanting to have the amusement of his marine dreams close at hand, just as Monet treasured contemplating the waters lilies in his garden at Giverny.

By looking at the works of Monet and Barceló, we can appreciate the subtle movement from Impressionism to Expressionism, from the impression of light and color to the expression that delves into the intimacy of the artist’s innermost desires, in which all appetites come into play.  And he does it with wild and festive ease, so genuine that it’s impossible to conceive without the contribution of the native nourishment brought from the Mediterranean Sea, both mythic, and spiritual.

His work moves through emotional territories that he turns into pictorial ones, in which he exposes scenes from his world, from his loneliness. His pieces try to translate what surrounds him, what happens to him, what he’s feeling; the sea and its inhabitants away from external noise, the sea and its storms with —at times— empty boats.

Miquel Barceló expresses without restrictions in the medium he chooses for his art. He seems to organize and pour his life in the clay that he turns into paintings, canvases, and drawings. The Mediterranean Sea, its colors and aromas, and the ceramic tradition of his homeland have been, without a doubt, of great influence to him, as Felanitx, his native land, is home to ceramist since the 3rd Century BC.

In this exhibition, Barceló invites us to feel like an octopus, far from the noises, immersed in the immensity of the sea and being splashed by its colors.

Exhibition: Miquel Barceló. Octopus Life , in Elvira González Gallery, from February 19 to March 30
Photography: Oscar Rivilla
Music: Dr. Symptosizer
Hair and makeup: Jose Sande
Art direction: Carolina Verd


Silver dress and sandals by Haníbal Laguna

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