Juan Béjar

 Malaga 1946

Studied in Nüremberg and San Telmo.

Solo exhibitions in Malaga, Pamplona, Gijón, Madrid, San Salvador, New York, Frankfurt and Rotterdam.

Transparent, nearly always swollen little faces with generous double chins. Dark eyes that show little or no emotion. Self-satisfied little mouths; ringlets; perfect outfits. Such are the children’s portraits by the Spanish painter, Juan Béjar (1946). But they are not real portraits; not replicas of real people but metaphors. Béjar, just like Pablo Picasso, was born in Málaga; but whereas Picasso moved to Paris at an early age never to return, Béjar is to this day a man of Málaga. He is a highly-reputed artist in his country of birth. In Spain there is a waiting-list for his work, which makes Béjar proud but at the same time stressed. His production is limited on account of the immense amount of work put into each painting.

His “children” nearly always look straight to the front, unmoved. They appear to be staring at us, and at the same time their gaze transfixes us. At times they seem to be inexpressive, staring dolls; their ageing heads are far from infantile. They stand rigid and static or sit with their little legs before them, attired in elegant outfits like adults in miniature. They bring to mind the Infanta Margarita of “Las Meninas” (1656) by the famous Spanish painter, Velázquez.

Annelette Hamming
English translation: Peter J. Field

Interested in the works of Juan Béjar? Mail: info@contempo.info