Miquel Navarro’s hometown of Mislata has become a noticeable, architectural reference in his sculptural work, complete with its corresponding, radical transformations. The town on the outskirts of Valencia—now practically swallowed up by the city—has been a source of inspiration for Navarro, who has enthusiastically referenced its factories, streets and sewers to capture the cultural mix of Roman, Arabic and Christian influences that define this part of the country. Although Navarro’s work has been shown in many countries, his decision to live in his homeland has allowed him to continue building an iconography that is clearly permeated by his roots. Although Miquel Navarro started out as a painter after graduating from the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in Valencia, he has dedicated himself almost exclusively to sculpture since 1972. He has also continued to draw—a medium he is highly skilled in—producing work that is occasionally erotic in character. He drew international attention in 1980 when he participated in the group exhibition New Images from Spain at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. A few years later, he received the National Sculpture Award (1986) and, within Valencia, the Alfons Roig Sculpture Prize (1987). Amongst the many facets of his work, he has earned the greatest acclaim with the creation of his public fountains in places like Valencia, Turís, Quart de Poblet and Brussels. Fascinated by the idea of a city, Navarro has created several sculptures (cast iron, terracotta) reflecting the outline of an imaginary, urban landscape consisting of various elements (towers, chimneys, isolated buildings, avenues) in which he combines the aesthetic of the avant-garde with influences derived from vernacular and traditional architecture.
Juan Vicente Aliaga