Salvador Collell

Fruit of the vine

Fruit of the Vine

Original Oil on Canvas

Image Size 28 x 24

  Salvador Collell 1949-

Salvador Collell was born in 1949 in Garrotxa, Spain.  At the age of fourteen, an uncle living in London gave him a box of oil paints and brushes;  Salvador was delighted and immediately began to paint.  

At first, he began to copy the master works of artists such as Velazquez and Murillo.   Later, he discovered the painters of the “Escuela Olotina” and inspired by them he began to paint plein air landscapes of Garrotxa.   This period was short-lived for soon Collell turned his attention to the painting of the human figure.

Simultaneously, his uncle offered him a studio space where Collell began to experiment with different mediums: waxes, oils, pastel, watercolor, gouache, etc., and with various types of technique.  

He earned degrees in Teaching and Philosophy and for six years he combined his artistic career with that of being a professor to support himself.   During this period, he began to paint large murals and this motivated him to study the Italian Renaissance painters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Massacio, Giotto and others.  This investigation led him to the school of Catalan Gothic painters exhibited at the Palau Nacional de Catalunya.    

Upon moving to Barcelona, he joined a group of painters known as the Circle Artistic of Sant Lluch and these fellow artists introduced him to the contemporary art scene.  He is greatly influenced by Picasso; indeed, once in Barcelona he moved his residence nearby to the Museo Picasso so that he could more easily study the Master’s work.  

The shape of his figures took on a more voluminous look, rounded and full, somewhat distorted and surreal.  In 1976, he held his first solo exhibition.   This coincided with the rise of democracy in Spain after the death of Franco, and the direction of his art took on a happier look.  (At the same time, he met his future wife, Esperanca, who also helped to change his outlook on painting).  From 1976 onward, he exhibited widely in Spain, Andorra, Holland and Belgium. He is attracted to rounded shapes and voluminous forms because these figures are more plastic in terms of how he can manipulate them to indicate a mood and a sense.  While he describes himself as a studio painter, he does much research and makes many study-sketches outdoors.  He does not use models.   All of his characters come immediately from his imagination.   While he begins to paint realistically at the beginning of a painting, he soon turns to a more subjective interpretation based upon what he jokingly refers to as his “synthesizing unconscious.” 


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