GUSTAVO: A famous artist on the island

The work of Gustavo is inspired by music, irony and colour. His grotesque figures come into existence to the music of Mozart, Maria Callas, Jacques Brel and others. The irony is inspired by Federico Fellini and Woody Allen. Gustavo's art is life, joy, enthusiasm and light.

Gustavo (Peñalver Vico) was born on the 11. of April 1939 in Cartagena, Spain. He had his first exhibition in 1963 in the gallery Minorica, situated in Palma de Mallorca. Until today he has had 150 individual as well as collective exhibitions in Spain and Germany, but also in Belgium, Switzerland and the USA. Since the early 1960's he has created more than 4.000 oil paintings and in the 80's started to experiment with bronze and other materials.

A multicultural career

At the age of six he moved to Mallorca, where he spent his childhood and youth. As a young artist, he lived and worked in Barcelona, Paris and Brussels. By the late 70's he had moved back to Mallorca and signed contracts with the local Sala Pelaires in Palma and the Galería Layetana in Barcelona. Using his artwork as a critique of the Franco dictatorship, he faced several troubles and when invited by the city council of Berlin he promptly moved there. Here he spent nearly 20 years paving the way to his international career. In Germany, Gustavo is considered one of the most important contemporary Spanish artists and with the Gustavo-House in Berlin's district Lichtenberg he has created his own monument: the 21-storey building is adorned with his figures. He also decorated the interior of the former Gustavo-Sorat Hotel (now a Holiday Inn) in Prenzlauer Berg. Not only did he exhibit his artwork in Berlin: with the aid of former Minister for foreign affairs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, he displayed his paintings in the Redoute in Bonn, and had several exhibitions at the broadcast centre of the ZDF in Mainz and at DaimlerChrysler in Sindelfingen. Up to date he has regular invitations to show his work at the broadcast centre of the regional transmitter rbb in Berlin.

Gustavo on Mallorca

Since 1995 he lives and works in his atelier Son Turó situated between Capdepera and Cala Ratjada. There he welcomes many of his most passionate collectors which include several public characters from the cultural, art and political sectors. Simultaneously his local fame is on the rise, also thanks to his latest work, the biggest ceramic murals on the Balearic Islands. The paintings consist of 1.700 tiles measuring 20 x 20 cm each, displaying a 4 x 16 m mural adorning the port of Cala Ratjada. Each tile was hand made in the ceramic workshop Teulera Can Benito in Campos, financed by private sponsors and Gustavo himself.

Part of his work is dedicated to charity organisations such as UNICEF and the cystic fibrosis foundation hosted by Christiane Herzog. On Mallorca, he cooperates with the child's cancer aid Aspanob and paints several of his motives on roof tiles which are sold to generate the necessary funds for the reconstruction of the Lluc Monastery. Thanks to the documentary about his Mallorca round-trip by camel (directed by the Mallorquin Tony Bestard) and other projects such as the decoration of Macià Batle wine bottles, the Gustavo-Buddy Bear, local exhibitions and TV appearance, his popularity is constantly growing and along with his grotesque, colourful figures and poetic titles constructs a cultural bridge between Germany and Spain.

For more information visit