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.”