Javier Calleja’s works are filled with a diverse array of twists and interventions that bring surprise and humor to various events within daily life. As a self-professed fan of the works of surrealist master René Magritte, as well as artists Yoshitomo Nara and Chris Johanson, he references their techniques in the context of contemporary portraiture, depicting those living in the present through his characteristic appropriation of the “BIG EYE.” Things such as changes in color and shifts in scene, together with the relationship between the facial expressions of his subjects and the texts that accompany them, are aspects that the artist particularly pays close attention to in his work. Furthermore, the personalities of the subjects that are emphasized through transforming them into characters, and the setting for the narratives which viewers themselves retrieve due to the correlation between the images and texts, are also an ingenious ploy that are executed on part of the artist. Calleja’s work continues to increasingly fascinate viewers even in the midst of our current world that finds itself in the face of a global pandemic. Such interest reflects people’s empathy for the artist and his attempt to confront difficulties through his sharp-witted creativity, along with his attitude of perceiving every aspect of life in a positive manner.
Currently lives and works in Spain