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La Nave Salinas Foundation in Ibiza welcomes Rafa Macarrón, the first Spanish artist to exhibit his work El Bañista.  More than 15 paintings of different formats that have been created this 2021. The collection can be visited until October 31.

The young man from Madrid is earning a good place in the international art scene. Exhibiting his works in New York, Tokyo or Bogota, among other major cities. This summer Rafa Macarrón presents his collection El Bañista in Ibiza, in La Nave Salinas. Place that in previous years have hosted artists such as Kaws, Keith Haring, Marco Brambilla, Bill Viola and Kenny Scharf. Conjunction between current art with masters of Street Art, video or Pop Surrealism..


Interior of the exhibition El Bañista

Rafa Macarrón reflects different worlds that he has been creating in each painting, especially expressionism because it is born from a gesture, but also a new figuration. The Madrid-born artist recognizes that tracing elongated bodies has helped him understand anatomy, and understand the structure of the body. “It’s a bit like creating your own characters, each one with its own soul”, comments the painter.


The artist exhibits in his works impressionism and figuration.

His last solo exhibition was at the CAC museum in Malaga, and Madrid hosted him in May along with several other artists. Now they await him on the Ibizan island with El Bañista/The Bather,a collection that speaks of “the new hope of life.” Enhancing the human figure on the beaches, uniting sea, sky and sand.

Within the collection are the paintings of giant vertical formats and panoramic landscapes. In the latter, there are overcrowded beaches, but also solitary figures. Macarron uses a lot of color in 12 of the works, while grays and blacks reign supreme in the remaining ones. A rmagical realism that collectors and critics already recognize as “Macarrón universe”.


The artist Rafa Macarrón and the contrasting colors used by the painter for his collections.

Juan Manuel Bonet, former director of the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía and IVAM, highlights the way in which the critic Rubén Suárez defined the artist’s work very well. Exalting the fantastic figuration with derivations of abstraction, surrealism and expressionism. Familiarizing his works with shades of Alechinsky, Miró, Arshile Gorky or Picasso;

Bonet himself notes:

“From the beginning, Rafa Macarrón is clear that he wants to talk, with humor more white than black, more compassionate than cruel, about the street, about daily life, about his own existence, about his amazement at the world.”

Lio Malca, promoter of the La Nave Salinas Foundation, and a great collector of Keith Haring and Basquiat, continues to be enthusiastic about Macarrón’s works. “I knew Rafa was heir to an important tradition of Spanish painting that I personally admire,” Malca confesses. He is one of the biggest lenders of his work for exhibitions, falls in love with the artist’s paintings, and reminds him of great artists like Joan Miró and Manuel H. Mompó. He is convinced that Rafa and La Nave Salinas in Ibiza will complement each other perfectly.


The Nave Salinas has a large space, so visitors can enjoy the works of art freely and quietly.

Rafa Macarrón is a symbol of the new generation of painters in the history of Spanish gallerism and architecture. He is a tireless and fast draftsman, in fact, he can spend hours creating and not notice the passage of time. He always starts his works on A4 sheets of paper or on small sheets of paper, using a wide range of materials, and it doesn’t take him more than a week to finish a painting. “The work has to be spontaneous even if it is worked on”, confesses the artist.

Since he was a child he had a pencil in his hands, at the age of four he visited the Picasso Museum in Paris, and was captivated by the wonders he wanted to understand. At seven, he was already drawing people and animals from other worlds, full of color and life, and aon finishing high school he took up professional cycling, and even that experience has made him gain discipline to represent his works. At the age of 25 he began his journey as a self-taught artist. Juan Barjola, a painter, encouraged him not to enter the Academy of Fine Arts as he considered that his potential resided in him, and he only had to exploit it.


The artist Rafa Macarrón working in his studio on his artwork.

The Nave was built in 1941 to store salt harvested in the ponds integrated in the Ses Salines Natural Park. After decades in disuse, it was rescued by Lio Malca, and since 2015 they dedicate an annual exhibition with the aim of connecting Ibiza with international art. This 2021 edition also has the complicity of another collector, Alberto Chehebar.


Images provided by La Nave Salinas Foundation.

Noelia Fernández

Journalist passionate about culture, literature, arts and travel. I am interested in being able to listen to others and immerse myself in their stories, seeking the essence of each experience and giving voice to many that are not heard. I have been writing for Horse since June 2021.