Written by Alicia Puig
As is the case with many artists, Javier Mayoral’s creative instinct kicked in from a young age. He remembers drawing as soon as he was able to hold a pencil in his hand and he began painting shortly afterwards. In Javier’s early career, he developed and honed his artistic talent working at an advertising agency in Spain.
The format of many of the paintings he produces today bear a strong resemblance to print ads. Figures set against saturated monochromatic backgrounds and a punchy one-liner entice the viewer to buy into the comical, peculiar, kinky, or mischievous nature of each pop-surrealist scene he sets. If the question is how can a painting grab your attention in three seconds or less, his response it to sell us with wit, sex, and cute animals.
He has amassed a dedicated following online by diligently posting about his work on his Instagram account, @pulpbrother, and from features in several notable art blogs. With the traffic to his website that he generates via Instagram and other sources, Javier transitioned from working as a chef and painting part-time to having been able to support himself exclusively from art sales for the last four years.
It quite literally took a lot of work to get him where he is today. He says he has scanned and catalogued over 9,000 of his paintings so far. While he works quickly and on a small scale, most paintings are around 8 x 10 inches or so, this seems an almost unfathomable number of pieces for an artist to have completed in their entire life, let alone part of it. Arguably, he has much of his career left ahead of him considering that we’ve recently seen successful octogenarian artists breaking records with attendance at blockbuster museum exhibitions and blue chip gallery shows as well as sale prices on the auction block.
When I ask what his advice to emerging artists would be, his answer is no surprise based on the type of work ethic it takes to be as prolific as he is. ‘Stay true to yourself, be disciplined, consistent, and don’t do it for the money,’ he says. Sheer talent alone certainly doesn’t always translate to completing a body of work impressive as much for its volume as its unique commentary that feels perfectly suited to the tastes of contemporary internet culture, nor does it beget exhibition invitations in metropolitan capitals across the world including New York, Paris, and Berlin. Yet, despite all of these achievements, he mentions something else that brings him a great sense of pride. I ended our interview by prompting Javier to share his thoughts about his son Max becoming an artist, to which he responded, “...I did a pretty good job as a parent as all my sons are creative and good guys.” Not every artist can claim that their work both inspired others to appreciate art and also emboldened them to create their own.