Skip to main content
Almine Rech

Javier Calleja

Javier Calleja was born in 1971 in Malaga where he lives and works nowadays.

Over the years Calleja worked with drawings, installations, sculptures, and paintings, often playing with the scale and perspective in his presentations. Working both in minuscule and large scale his installations were regularly focusing on beguiling the viewer as a significant part of the work.

After showing around Spain and the rest of Europe, it was his debut with Aisho Nanzuka in Hong Kong that for the first time debuted on his big-eyed boy characters. Originally imagined as visual representations of the artist's own feelings and experiences, they became his unmistakable signature. Over the years the characters evolved from drawings, over paintings, into sculptures and objects, almost exclusively depicting a boy in the transitional age between the teen and adolescence. With oversized, watery eyes, and subtle addition of red blush, Calleja's characters are little heroes who just overcame something painful and are about to smile again after crying.

Selected artworks

  • Javier Calleja,                                      Be Sweet, 2023

    Javier Calleja Be Sweet, 2023

    Acrylic on canvas
    195 x 162 cm
    77 x 64 in

  • Javier Calleja,                                      London boy, 2023

    Javier Calleja London boy, 2023

    Acrylic on canvas
    80 x 65 cm
    31 1/2 x 25 1/2 in

  • Javier Calleja,                                      Best wishes to you, 2022

    Javier Calleja Best wishes to you, 2022

    Acrylic on canvas, oak frame and museum glass
    138 × 98 cm
    54 3/8 × 38 5/8 in

  • Javier Calleja,                                      This Is Your Lucky Day, 2022

    Javier Calleja This Is Your Lucky Day, 2022

    Acrylic on canvas
    195 x 162 cm
    256 × 223 × 14 cm (framed)
    77 x 64 in
    100 3/4 × 87 3/4 × 5 1/2 in (framed)

  • Javier Calleja,                                      No worries, 2022

    Javier Calleja No worries, 2022

    Acrylic on canvas
    100 × 80 cm
    39 3/8 × 31 1/2 in

  • Javier Calleja,                                      Take me on, 2021

    Javier Calleja Take me on, 2021

    Acrylic on canvas
    116 x 100 cm
    45 1/2 x 39 1/2 in

Museum exhibitions

Selected press