Gabriel Picart was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1962, where he still lives and works. His family lived in the famous Park Güell, and he spent his childhood in the same building that the great Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi designed emulating the house of the witch in the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. Growing up surrounded by such an artistic environment, Gabriel soon developed a great interest in art.
As a teenager, his parents rented the building opposite the concierge pavilion at the main entrance, the one with an oddly shaped tower bearing on its top a double cross. This well-known building had been Antoni Gaudi’s studio during the construction of the park. In the very same room that architect Gaudi executed his designs, the young Picart set up his first atelier.
It was in those years that Picart met the illustrator Enric Torres, famed by his Warren Magazine covers. He invited Gabriel to visit the studio that he shared with Pepe Gonzalez, one of the world’s foremost comic artists. Shortly thereafter, Gabriel became the third member of the studio. Picart’s career as an illustrator blossomed; he worked on commissions throughout Europe, mainly for Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries.
In 1985, Picart made his first trip to New York City. He quickly won assignments from all the major publishing houses in America and Canada, such as Reader’s Digest, Bantam Books, Dell Publishing, Harlequin, Pocket Books and Scholastic, to name a few. Gabriel did book covers, promotional advertising, brochures and interior illustrations, all in a representational mode with a fine art treatment.
In 1996, he had his first show at the WolfWalker Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. This was quickly followed by his participation in a group show of Catalan artists at Ambassador Gallery in New York, where he was among some of the leading contemporary figurative painters working in Spain at that time. Since then, Picart focused on his own paintings and no longer made illustration commissions.
His paintings have been exhibited in major galleries in the United States, such as Anderson Galleries in Beverly Hills and Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco. His work is in private collections in Spain, the United States, Germany, Canada, China, Taiwan, New Zealand, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Although my works may appear hyperrealistic when viewed at a reduced size on a screen, or from some distance in person, my painting style is Realism. I consider myself a classical realist painter with a love of detail, and I paint in a very realistic though not photographic manner. I like to leave my brushstrokes visible, and the imitation of reality in my work is only apparent. This is where the real magic of painting lies for me.
Taking advantage of all the tools a 21st century artist has at his disposal, from the most innovative 3D sculpture to the oldest traditional painting technique, is the way to go. I am passionate about unifying the past and present in the making of my artwork.
In my opinion, there is a clear parallelism between so-called Contemporary Art and the current financial system, a parallelism that is far from coincidental. During the last century there was the demise of the gold standard, which is a tangible and objectively assessable value (by its weight), and its replacement by ‘fiat money’ (money by decree), of no intrinsic value and solely based in the trust of society in the issuer; therefore, a form of fiduciary money (based on faith).
At the same time a disqualification of all objectively evaluable art (technical execution, composition…) took place in the art world, whose main exponent is Realistic Figurative Art, while at the same time another type of art equally based on faith was promoted ad nauseam (and almost by decree as well): on the public’s trust in the reviews of art critics who support it and/or in the name of the artist. I call it ‘Fiart’.
The line or drawing is the pillar on which all my pictorial work is based. It is the ‘architecture’ or ‘skeleton’ of it. I like to use saturated colors, but I try not to let them dominate the work or stand out above the other elements of the painting. I am extremely careful with the overall texture of the work, and I like to apply impastos, but only when possible. The application of a large amount of matter in a painting cancels out the most important quality of oil paintings: their transparency.