Juan Canals. Painter.


Refuse, debris and abandoned objects are what inspire Joan Canals and are the protagonists of his work. A broken umbrella spoke, fragments from a drain cover, an old piece of furniture, retrieved fabric and cardboard, scrap material, opened cans of paint…


The artist frees the debris that he finds from its state of abandon, with which he creates his own world, a marginal urban universe.


He explores different methods and techniques. He lets some of his works rest before completing them; he makes compositions out of fragments previously put to one side. He expresses himself by way of drawings, oils, acrylics, engravings and sculptures, often mixing techniques in a painting. He experiments in many areas, as his intuition tells him that each work should be approached differently, and that there is no such thing as an absolute method, technique or style.  The only constant is the implicit message he wants to put over.


His protagonists are isolated beings and devices, whose introversion makes them incapable of relating to each other.


His “fenomenolillos” are tiny animals with an insect’s body that defend themselves with their huge open mouths.


His man and woman, with the same mouths as his insects’, are enclosed within an aureole of colour; without their clothes, they cannot hide their defects or their sexuality, neither can they deny that by displaying their genitals it becomes more than clear that they are unable to communicate with each other.


The machine-device-towers have bodies modelled out of different volumes, while the extremities are made of tubes and rods that end as needles, nails and spikes, which prevent any type of proximity. The levers and propellers in equilibrium transmit movement and anguish.


A thick, steady line defines broken and elusive shapes, and unusual colour combinations make up a very evocative poetic space.


Man and the machine cannot escape the aggressiveness they carry inside them, nor can tensions be erased. Only the tiny animals, the “fenomenolillos” can overcome this. They climb mountains, clamber up the towers, the steps and the machine-devices, from where they prepare to take flight.  


Arenys de Mar, January 1994

Teresa Macià i Bigorra