Marc Badia uses humour and mystery as tools of critique

for Munchies Art Club Magazine
Contemporary paintings
Published on
October 26, 2022
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The Munchies Art Club is excited to present the talented artist Marc Badia represented by the L21 Gallery, where he is presently on view with his solo exhibition “Jamás oirás a una estrella decir “ahí va un hombre fugaz”.

Marc Badia Foolosopher

Marc Badia (1984) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Spain.

Badia has a master’s degree in Artistic Production and Research from the Fine Arts University of Barcelona, and is presently an exchange student at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg (HFBK Hamburg). 

Marc Badia’s work is mainly focused on the hermeneutics of images in a pictorial and installative practice, using humour and mystery as tools of critique.

marc badia, contemporary artist, l21 gallery
Marc Badia | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

Quick Q&A 

1. Who is Marc Badia? Please introduce yourself to our readers. 

I guess we all change, and the answer to the question of who you are varies according to the day and time a person is in.

Today I would say that I am a village boy.

A small village in Catalonia that developed around a textile colony that was built more than a hundred years ago. 

contemporary art, marc badia. l21 gallery, spain
Marc Badia | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

The factories closed down a few decades ago and today most of the inhabitants are elderly.

My grandparents were workers in that factory, children of the Spanish post-war period who did not have it particularly easy.

It was in this context that they met and formed the family that has made it possible for me to exist.

marc badia, art viewer, interview, contemporary artist
Abandonar la veritat | 2022 | Oil on linen | 162 x 130 cm | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery

2. I read in an article that you have been painting all your life but only saw it as a profession when you were older, how did that enlightenment take place? 

It was in a studio visit of a gallery owner many years ago, he liked my work, especially my drawings, but he said to me: "if you want to do something in the art world, from this notebook you have shown me, you need to make twenty more"

marc badia, sketch book, l21 gallery artist
Marc Badia - Sketch book | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

I liked the gallery and, on that occasion, I missed the opportunity to work with them, even though it was not something I had thought about until that moment.

That's when I realised that there were people interested in my work but that I had to work harder.

marc badia, humour, mystery, tools of critique
Never get high on your own supply | Oil on linen | 162x130 | 2022 | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery

3. Where do you live and work? Tell us a bit about time spent in your studio.

I live and work in Barcelona, I love the Mediterranean.

I usually arrive at my studio around 9 in the morning, water the plants, have a coffee, a cigarette and go over the previous day's work.

Lately I listen to a lot of podcasts, especially in the morning. 

marc badia, artist interview, studio view
Marc Badia in his studio | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

In the afternoon I listen more to hip-hop, jazz, etc... I often end up dancing or using my paintbrushes as drumsticks.

It’s like two different states, in the morning I work more quietly and in the afternoon the rave begins....

The truth is that I love spending the day in the workshop, I find it a privilege.

painting, mixed media, question and answer, marc badia
Monument to nothing 40 | 2020 | Mixed media on paper | 28 x 21 cm | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery 

4. The Nike sneaker at one point manifests itself in most of your work. Could you tell us a bit about that? 

I grew up listening to Spanish hip-hop in the 90's, wearing a good pair of trainers is an important element of this culture.

As a counter-culture it criticises certain aspects of the system but at the same time integrates itself into it.

For me they represent a generational contradiction. 

nike sneakers, inspiration, hip hop, counter culture
Nikes | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

On the one hand there are many things about this system that I don't like, on the other hand when I have a bad day I like to wear a nice pair of good-looking trainers.

It is something that feeds a consumerist system but at the same time gives a sense of empowerment.

Contradictions and absurdity as part of the human condition. 

marc badia, painting, foolosopher
Epílogo IV | 2022 | Oil on linen | 160 x 130 cm | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery

5. On your instagram account it reads Marc Badia foolosopher. What does the foolosopher stand for? 

Foolosopher is an oxymoron attributed to both medieval and Zen culture.

I stumbled upon it in the book "Fools are everywhere, the court jester around the world" by Beatrice K. Otto. 

in the artists studio, painting, contemporary art
Marc Badia at work | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

She portrays this foolish character, who sometimes gets it righter than those who consider themselves wiser.

Either by pure chance or because sometimes humour has the ability to dismantle that which is taken as a great truth.

foolosoper, marc badia
Monument to nothing 3 | 2020 | Gouache on paper | 28 x 21 cm | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery

6. You are presently on view at the L21 Gallery with a solo show titled Jamás oirás a una estrella decir “ahí va un hombre fugaz” (You'll never hear a star say "there goes a fleeting man”). Can you tell us a little about the work you are showing? 

For my first solo with L21 Gallery I have presented four pieces that are like four vignettes from a comic book.

They tell the story of a character who waters a slipper. 

comic book like paintings, series, solo exhibition
Epílogo I, | 2022 | 162x130 cm | Oil on linen | From the exhibition “Jamás oirás a una estrella decir “ahí va un hombre fugaz” at the L21 Gallery | Image courtesy L21 Gallery

As the series progresses, the plants grow, blossom and bear fruit.

The cycle of life.

In a dystopian twist, the vegetation eats the character, spreading across the scene, uprooting the columns that frame it.

artwork with text, work on paper unique
Monument to nothing 1 | 2020 | Gouache on paper | 28 x 21 cm | image courtesy the L21 Gallery

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you very much for your interest.

contemporary painter, marc badia
Marc Badia | Image courtesy the L21 Gallery | Photo Juan David Cortés

Short Bio: 

Exhibitions, residencies, awards (past, present, future): 

I am now preparing new pieces for Untitled Miami and for a solo show in Hong Kong.

Marc Badia has exhibited at Centro del Carmen de Valencia (Valencia), Espositivo Mad (Madrid), Galería Fran Reus (Mallorca), La Capella (Barcelona), Fundación Arranz Bravo (Barcelona) and at Arco Madrid with the L21 gallery (Mallorca). He has held residencies at the Free University of Tbilisi (Georgia), the DE Kaaij festival (Nijmegen, Holland) and Major 28 (Lleida).

Which keywords describe your work best. 

Foolosopher, contradictions, absurd.

Follow the artist on Instagram:

Follow L21 Gallery on Instagram:

A big thank you to Marc and Cristina Ramos from L21 for sharing with us to share with you!