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Miquel Barceló (1957)

GS etc.

Watercolour on paper
32.4 x 50.8 cm
Collection of the artist
© André Morin, 2020 

Leer Transcripción

An avid reader, occasional writer, and illustrator of some of the great works of world literature, such as Dante’s The Divine Comedy and Goethe’s Faust, between February and March 2019 the painter dedicated part of his habitual trip to Thailand to the creation of around 150 watercolors, intending for a selection of them to accompany his new publishing commission: The Metamorphosis, the masterwork by the Czech-born Jewish writer Kafka. Barceló has described Kafka as “an author who expresses an extremely old form of humanism, a cosmic despair”.  


Through this selection of 60 watercolors, which are shown here in public for the first time, the Majorcan artist employs a series of simultaneously vibrant and anguished images to interpret the life of Gregor Samsa, the central figure of the story, who awakens one day to find he has been transformed into a monstrous insect; an event which gives rise to a familial drama.   


The story has been interpreted as an allegory articulating the dramatic confrontation between human beings and a modern world that oppresses them and ends up annihilating them, as occurred in history with German Nazism.    


Painting always has something of alchemy about it, because it’s something one does without entirely knowing about it, don’t you think? Because the colors… I never really know why I use some colors and not others, and in the case of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis I thought about using these colors, which are so intense and so un… so un-Central European, do you know what I mean? That one always imagines it more… I don’t know… more grey, or… And it’s totally the opposite, it’s extremely intense. And using these almost venomous colors, which are genuinely poisonous. With many of these greens or cinnabars or oranges, you’d die from just a milligram, you know? They’re colors that are literally so venomous that they’re deadly. Anyway, I’m telling you this because it’s part of our exhibition and, above all, part of the title.