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Javier Calleja rose to art world prominence with instantly recognizable works of characters with big jeweled eyes and bulbous, innocent features. The contemporary Spanish artist works in painting, sculpture, and paper, with a broad range of limited edition collectibles and merchandise. Calleja draws on personal experience and childhood memories to create his iconic characters.
“Growing up in the 70s and 80s, my biggest influences were cartoons and comics. In particular Mazinger Z cartoons and Francisco Ibáñez 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.” – Javier Calleja
Equeally sarcastic and sensitive, portraits of seemingly innocent children captivate global audiences with melting eyes and punchy, ironic graphic tees. Phrases like “FUCK YOU ALL” and “What To Do Now” subvert an innocence with pure cheekiness. Minimal in format, their facial features pop against flat, single-colour backgrounds. Javier Calleja’s animated style and polished finish recall other contemporary artists like KAWS and Yoshitomo Nara.