Javier Calleja is a Spanish artist born in 1971 in Malaga, Spain. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, Granada University in 2000. Before he completed his artistic training at the age of 31 he was a gymnastics athlete training for the Olympics.
His drawings, paintings and installations introduce us into a figurative universe imbued with ingenuity.
Calleja has become an international sensation with strong solo museum exhibitions as well as several solo gallery shows in cities such as, Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, Tokyo, Spain, Rome and London.
The artist works feature his signature style with their large heads and disproportionately sized eyes, dark and humorous text places on the figures such as their clothing or other relevant places.
At Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Art Evening sale in Hong Kong on July 2020 the artist had an auction record when his work WHAT? (2018) sold for HK$3 million, six times higher than its high estimate. Following this, Phillips on Dec 2020 sold the art work No More Stories (2019) for HK$4 million, well over the 300-500k estimate.
Calleja art is influenced by comics, cartoons and toys from when he was a child.
“Growing up in the 70s and 80s, my biggest influences were cartoons and comics. In particular Mazinger Z cartoons and Francisco Ibañes Talavera’s comics. Inspired by those two, I started drawing as a child, so my work developed from there and still carries some of those characteristics,”