first memories I have of Toni Hormigo go back as far as my very early childhood,
I remember very clearly his father’s workshop, a little room by the family house
that I used to visit sometimes.
was allowed to stay, if I kept myself still and quiet, for five, ten minutes,
at the most. (There were a lot of small and fragile objects, easy to break or
to lose, as well as big and small sharp tools, dangerous in children’s hands).
Toni and sometimes his brothers (Leonardo, Luís, Paco and little sister Laly)
used to work, after coming home from work, helping their father and learning
from his techniques at the same time. It was fascinating to see them working,
carving little heads, about one inch long, coloured with inks and varnished,
faces of all the races and all the expressions of the entire world, Chinese,
Red-skin-indians, Indian-indians. Moors, Vikings, your neighbour, Cossacks,
Africans, the Marx Brothers, etc.
had big, smiling mouths with small perfect white teeth, some looking sad, some
terrific. These heads were all different, some sold as single buttons or a couple
of cufflinks, but most were afterwards strung, a few together, the short ones
as bracelets, the long ones as necklaces, that looked like a big United Nations
meeting. Thousands of these little heads were later sold in the first souvenir
shops in San Antonio, Ibiza-Town, Mallorca and Mainland Spain.
then, from the little heads made of the same oleander shoots that the ibicenco
"flaúte" are made from, Antonio's art work hasn't stopped growing,
and Formentera are these days firmly established in The World of the Arts.
legend of the Islands covers every creative area… from the Ibiza disco sounds,
with world class DJs, jazz festivals and live concerts by top-ten stars every
year, to the fashion world, with "Ad Lib" and the "Ibiza-Look,"
known and sold all over the world.
cinema industry is working locally more and more every year and indeed three
proper films were made in the last fifteen months, using the Islands’ scenarios
and landscapes and featuring some local artists and extras (one of them, "Lucía
y el sexo", filmed in Ibiza and Formentera, has been selected this week
as a possible candidate for the Oscars). The Modern Dance and Classical Ballet,
Theatre and Literature perform several first class events every year.
Plastic Arts, sculpture and especially painting, have a very special relevance,
for the number and the great quality of the artists, locals and residents, that
live and create on the Islands, and export their wares to the rest of the world.
is very difficult to think of any other place with such a small community (107,000
inhabitants’ altogether) where we can find so many local and international well-known
famous artists. Their artistic work forms part of many valuable private collections
and it can be seen in some of the best modern art museums in the world.
is an honour and a real privilege to be able to create such a talented Artist’s
Gallery, and from this website show and share it with art lovers’ worldwide.
the first edition of “Artists on Ibiza”, we have had the privilege to speak
with one of Ibiza and Formentera´s most important native artists, Antonio Hormigo
Escandell (Toni Hormigo, as he prefers to be called).
Hormigo was born in San Antonio (Ibiza) in 1933. His father also named Antonio
was born in San Antonio and his mother, Catalina, was from Formentera.
family spent the years of the Spanish civil war (1936-39) in Barcelona, were
he went to his first school.
the war, back in Ibiza, Toni soon began to work as an apprentice in different
jobs, such as cobbler, barber and sailor. He started learning the carving techniques
from his father, a very talented artisan, at his workshop, until his military
service, as a marine in the navy.
back in Ibiza again, he started as a lighthouse keeper, also being paid for
sailing snipes that tourists used to rent, but he never stopped his second job
as a carving artisan.
by little he started to have more and more demands for his artistic works. With
this extra money he bought himself a bigger boat with an engine to take tourists
out fishing and lived on it for a few years, as well as carving.
got married in 1969 to Carmen Juan Botella. They have two sons, Paco and Marcelo.
Both sons carry on with the family tradition and also have presented some sculptures
in Toni's exhibitions.
1973, he had to take one of the most important decisions of his life when new
tax laws and an enormous rise in the cost of the insurance were taking all the
profits. He could not continue with his job and the business. He was not long
married, with two baby sons, still building and paying for his little new house,
at Port des Torrent. And so he sold the boat and decided to live exclusively
by his art.
life became his family, his house, full of art pieces, his work and his workshop,
his friends around the table, with good wine and simple, healthy, tasty food,
good conversation, classical background music and non-stop smoking (from the
local tobacco "tabac pota" to "Montecristo" Havana cigars).
size of his sculptures were getting bigger as he was experimenting with other
types of wood, "sabina", junipers, pine-tree, almond-tree, carob-been-tree
and most of the local trees, including some huge exotic trunks, that, from time
to time appear on the beach after a storm,
also created interesting sculptures in stone. But probably, his best creations
are the big sculptures made of an entire olive tree’s massive twisted trunk.
is no other artist that I know or have heard of anywhere in the world, that
does anything similar to these magnificent masterpieces. For instance there
is his altar in the restaurant "Sa Capella" in San Antonio, a sculpture
over two tons in weight and almost five metres high. History, Mythology, and
Nature, are his favourite subjects.
the same time he was developing his new and personal techniques, enlarging his
knowledge of the materials that he was working with, working harder and longer
every day. His artistic talent and well-gained reputation was growing at the
same rhythm and in the same proportions.
And so it is today, still growing, still working and creating, even more
then ever. God bless you, Toni.
and Collective Exhibitions with the “Grupo 77”
- “Premio Isla de Ibiza” (Island of Ibiza Award) Sala es Pilo.
- Galería Vallribera, Sant Antoni.
- Galerìa La Rana, Sant Antoni.
- He is invited to participate with a collective exhibitions tour in Norway.
- Sala de Exposiciones “La Caixa”, Ibiza. (His first exclusive exhibition)
- Galeía Bes, Sant Antoni.
de Ibiza” Palacio de la Virreina,
- “Semana de Ibiza”, Madrid.
Semana Cultural de Ibiza
- Galería Internacional, Sant Antoni. Toni Hormigo, together with three painters,
forms the “Grupo 77”
Paco Torres, (Cadiz, Spain) Hemio Mitchells (Germany) Bert May (Germany).
of the “Monumento al payes” (monument to the peasant) “Es Verro” in Sant Antoni.
- “Salón de Primavera” (Spring Salon) Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Ibiza.
Oberursel, Frankfurt, Germany.
- “Homenaje a la Infancia” (Homage to the Infancy), “La Caixa”, Ibiza.
Cultural de la Villa de Madrid. (Madrid’s Cultural Centre)
de Exposiciones del Casino de Ibiza.
- “II Salón de Primavera” Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, (Contemporary Art Museum)
de San José” (San José artist) Galería Berri, Sant Agustí, Ibiza.
Ibicencos” Galería Mulí, Santa Gertrudis, Ibiza.
Internacional, Sant Antoni.
a D’aifa”, Casa de la Curia, Ibiza.
Cultural de Bellas Artes”, Palma de Mallorca.
the 1980s and 1990s decades, he continued working at the same rhythm, with one
or two, individual and collective exhibitions in Ibiza every year and some out
of the island, in Spain and other European countries.
- “Galería L’oeil de Boeuf” Paris, France.
- “Galería Nova” Hagen, Germany.
- “Casa Lis” Salamanca, Spain.
- “Galería Palette” Wuppertal, Germany. Here, Toni Hormigo form part of the
“Gruppe R B K”
- “Instituto Español de Cultura” (Spanish Culture Institute) Munich, Germany.
- “Eivissa, anys 1960” (Ibiza, the 1960s) A collective exhibitions of the best
artist of the island in the 1960s. (MAC) Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Contemporary
Art Museum) Ibiza.
- “Eivissa, L’art dels 1970” (Ibiza
Art in the 1970s) (MAC) another collective exhibition of the best artist in
work has also been reflected in several cinema documentaries, such as “Ibiza
es una fiesta” (Ibiza is a fiesta) filmed by Granena
“Beautiful People” a German film. “Baleares” film by V. Roselló.
in the books “Ibiza, la senda de los elefantes” (The track of the elephants)
by Mariano Planells.
de los secretos de Ibiza” (Ibiza’s secrets dictionary) by Mariano Planells.
la isla del dios Bes” (In the god Bes island) by A. Barbero.
biografico de las Pitiusas” by M. Pesce.
Enciclopedia de la Pintura L’escultura a las Balears” (Great Encyclopaedia of
Painting and Sculpture of the Balearics).
anys 1960, el naixemen de Babel” (Ibiza, the 1960s, the birth of Babel).
L’art dels 1970” (Ibiza. The Art at the 1970s).
Crucificado - 1963
Pino, 36 x 12 cm
Símbolo - 1966
Pino, 38 x 10 cm
Ciclo Vital - 1975
Encina, 70 x 30 cm
La Gestación de un Profeta - 1975
Pino, 40 x 20 cm
El Abrazo - 1976
95 x 40cm
Pequeño Gran Pensador - 1977
Freeno, 100 x 40 cm
Señor Curie - 1978
Olivo, 45 x 30 cm
pictures courtesy of Antonio Hormigo Escandell