Born in 1971 (Malaga, Spain). Works and lives in Malaga.
Acknowledgements: Almine Rech, Brussels, London, New York, Paris, Shanghai.
Javier Calleja was born in 1971 in Malaga, where he’s still based. The bug-eyed characters he’s developed over the last thirty years inhabit the space between comics and illustrations. Theirs is a resolutely naive figurative universe—one which comments on contemporary society. Their angelic miens and childlike expressions clash incongruously with bitter accompanying slogans: “Fuck you all”, “Big words but small actions”...
By spectacularly enlarging small drawings and setting them in exaggerated, custom-sized frames, Javier Calleja produces not so much paintings as surrealist objects—objects whose singularity transports the viewer into a kind of “Wonderland” where a disenchanted but combative Alice wanders.
— Éric Troncy