Miquel Barcelo is an artist who seems to be constantly evolving, and who does it all; from paintings to sculptures to installations and paintings that become installations, his artistic technique changes every several years or so, resulting in different effects. The themes however, which revolve around the places his lives in, the culture that he is a part of and childhood experiences, more or less stay the same.
With such high profile commissions as the controversial, multi-colored, ‘dripping ceiling’ of the United Nations Room XX in Geneva, where up to 100 tons of paint (perhaps paint and underlying metal structures) were reportedly used, Barcelo’s low profile modus operandi has kept him as one of the art world’s best kept secret.
Aside from the engineering marvel involved with making the ceiling hold up that much weight, putting a multi-colored Stalactite formation on it looks chaotic at first, but upon closer inspection there appears to be more depth behind the concept of it.
Barcelo himself has stated that vision behind this piece had come from time spent in his African home, when he saw the whole world ‘dripping towards the sky’ and translated it to this painting on the ceiling ‘dripping towards the United Nations’. In any case, it is undeniable that the vision for this piece comes from stalactite rock formations in nature, which sometimes looks nice and sometimes doesn’t. But compared to flowers which are widely used as a design or artistic inspiration, stalactite rock formations have not, and thus at least deserves recognition for treading unchartered waters.