with Tomàs Barceló
Following a series of fantastic steampunk busts, Tomàs Barceló continues to sculpt figures that infuse classical foundations with otherworldly, mechanical visions. The Cala Millor, Mallorca-based artist shapes faces and limbs from fragmented shards of ceramic and plaster, which are often cloaked with symbols, patterns, and filigree rendered in shellac, acrylics, and chalk and iron paints. Barceló is broadly concerned with establishing a unique presence in his works, which tend to confront the viewer with a steadfast stare or calm, spiritual aura, and each sculpture appears as a relic from a futuristic past.
The artist generously shares a timelapse of the process behind the polychromatic tomb-like work “Naar Keizar” shown below, along with other behind-the-scenes glimpses on YouTube. Find a larger archive of his sculptures on his site and Instagram.
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Spotted with corroded patches, Tomàs Barceló’s sculptures fuse classical antiquity and retro-futurism. The Cala Millor, Mallorca-based artist casts steampunk-style figures from resin and recycled objects that resemble ancient art while evoking otherworldly relics of an alternate reality.
Barceló sculpts the polychromatic artworks with a narrative and identity in mind, considering the way each will interact with others. He expands on the idea in a recent interview:
I believe that sculpture is the art of presence… Sculpture shares space and time with the viewer, and that is what makes it so powerful. That’s why I don’t try so much to tell stories as I try to create powerful presences, each in its own way. The fact that a small robot girl looks at you more intensely than you look at her, is fascinating to me.
Despite having created sculptures of clay, LEGO, and cardboard since childhood, Barceló fully immersed himself in the art world in 2014 after working for years as a high-school teacher. Throughout the 20 years leading up to his current practice, Barceló has realized the potential of juxtaposing traditional and fantastic elements. “For too long, I was focused only on the language of sculpture, and I forgot the content,” he says. “As if, to make a classical sculpture, I could only make naked figures; or if I wanted to make something of Egyptian-style, I had to make writings, and so on.”
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.