(Spain b. 1962)
He was born in the Mediterranean city of
Barcelona. The city is important to Picart’s history because it is steeped in
deep and rich traditions of artistic achievement; this was Picasso’s first stop
on his road to fame. Since 1962, the year Picart was born, he has spent most of
his life in the same neighborhood, and, as fate would have it for a soon-to-be
artist, this quarter of the city was perhaps its most famous.
For over fifty years, Gabriels family
lived in the concierge’s pavillion at the right of the main entrance of the
famous Park Guell. Gab’s grandmother took over the job of gatekeeper to the
Park. Thus Gabriel was born and spent his childhood in that historicallty
gloriul pavillion Gaudi had designed to emulate the witch’s house in Hans
Christian Anderson’s fairytale Hansel and Gretel.
Picart always had a pencil in his hand,
by the time he was a teenager, his parents had rented the other pavilion on the
oppposite side of the main gate. This building, with its oddley shaped tower
bearing on its tip a double cross, had been for many years Gaudi’s workshop. In
the 1980’s both pavilions and the Park Guell itself were designated by UNESCO as
part of the Mankind’s Heritage. This pavilion was all his to work in as he
chose. In the very same room that Gaudi executed his disigns. Picart set up his
first studio. He says that he felt Gaudi’s ghost hovering over his shoulder.
Gab soon became so addicted to painting that he gave up a promising career in
Fortune smiled on Gabriel. Not long after
he had made the decision to become a professional artist, he had the good luck
to meet the famous illustator Enric Torresprat. Enric invited Gabriel to visit
the studio he shared with the best ink and charcoal illustrator in
the creators of the incomparable Vampirella, Pepe Gonzales. Pepe was one of the
worlds’ foremost comic aritists and acknowledged master of the art of drawing
and rendering and composition.
By the age of twenty Pacart was on his
way. The young Gabriel became the third member of the studio. With the
mentoring of these two great artists, Gabriel soon learned the secrets of
drawing the human figure, as well as techniques of mixing paints, preparing a
canvas, rendering and the technical application of medium to surface.
Picarts career as an illustrator
blossomed; he worked on commissions throughout
Europe. In 1985, he came to
with Enric and Spanish illustrator, Sanjulian. Picart quickly won assignments
from all the major publishing houses in America and Canada. He worked for
advertising agencies, graphic design firms and catalouge houses. Art directors
clamored for his paintings because he brought a fine art style to his
representational illustrations. Clients loved his paintings for their simple
elegance. He was the best commercial artist of his kind. He has been compared
to his hero Norman Rockwell.
Rockwell was a great master painter who devoted his life OT work for publishihg
and advertising companies as many Renaisssance artists did for Popes”
Fine art collectors are aware of the
iomportance of Picart’s training as an illustrator. The demands are at times
almost super-human because the challenges are both technical and aesthetic.
Besides bieng able to draw, render and paint. The successfuel illustrator must
be able to communicate directly to the viewer. This Gab notes is absolutely
essential to create a successful illustration.
Picart maintains “most great art was
produced as commerical assignments. During this last century, for example, some
of the best figurative paintings have been made in illustration art, just as
some of the best descriptive music has been created for movie sound tracks.”
For his own part, Picart chose to master
the use of oils in creating his illustrations in contrast to some of the faster
and easier mediums and techniques available, alwaus with the goal in mind of
parlaying this technical accumen into the painting of fine art. Gabriel was
successful as a commerical illustrator, accepting a variety of commissions from
genre illustration to protriaits.
Picart found time to do fine art paintings
and began showing his work at the Sala pares in
In 1996 he had his first show at the WolfWalker Gallery in Sedona, Arizona.
This was quickly followed by his pariticpation in a group show of Catalan
artisit at Ambassador Gallery in New York. He was among some of the leading
contemporary figurative painters working in Spain at that time. Picart was on
his way as a studio painter of fine art. Galleries throughout the US have asked
to carry his pictures. As a result he no longer accepts illustration
commissions, he paints, full time.
Picart’s first love is painting. But it
is not his only love, as he is a Renaissance man. Gab feels a deep conneciton
to Leonardo, Vivant Denon and Tusinol(the great Catalan master) to name a few.
He most admired painters who were at the same time wirters, engineers,
anchitects and most of all storytellers. Picart reads widely in philosophy,
theology and history, and he loves to write – he is curently working on a
multi-media project for his keds based on a childrens story he has written.
Naturrally, this poroject involves teaching art to kis, and incomcept and
originality it is brilliant.
personal philosophy in tha alal arts and human sciences are interconnected.
“Painters shouldn’t use black and white in a painting too soon for there is
nothing lighter or darker than these. A concept for making a beautiful song is
the same concept for making a beautiful song is the same concept for making a
beautiful painting. Inner rules are the same for all aesthetic undertakings.”
Because of his belief in his gift, he works on the ethical principle that it is
the responsibility of every artist to give back to society. The government of
Barcelona has recognized his contribution to children’s traffic education
programs and the Spanish Red Cross commended him for his wonderful charcoal
series that he make at seventeen to teach how to give first adi properly. We
have statred the process of founding a society that will use art as a way of
addressing the many injustices that plague the world today. His painting called
“Living Statue” is a tribute to Cervantes’ character Don Quixote, who champoined
the fight against injustice in highly inventive ways.
painting belongs to classical mediterranean civilizations, and this means
identification with evnironmental elements and objects. Picart is adamantly a
figurative painter. He was born northwest Medierttanean coast, a beautiful and
kind enviromnent, “how could I refuse to try to reflect the beautiful things all
around me in my paintings”. As a consequence of living in a place designed one
hundred years ago, Gabriel developed a deep interest in everything that pertains
to the aestetics of the fin de siecle period. Of special interest to him is the
period from mid-nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth.
myself within the tradition of painters such as Alma-Tadema, Bonnat, Leighton,
Gerome, Bouguereau, Sargent, Fortuny and Water-House. It is unfortunate that
all of them have been overlooked by latter day ciritcs who relegated figurative
artisit to the
dismissive category of the merely decorative. Of course, this is now changing
rapidly with the current resurgence of representational and objeuctivist are.
For one thing is certain about these artists in the technique of drawing and
painting they were second to none.