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Javier Mariscal

1950 Valencia

The Spanish graphic designer and furniture designer Javier Mariscal was born in Valencia in 1950. From 1967 until 1970, Javier Mariscal studied philosophy at university in Valencia before going on to study graphic design at the Escuela de Grafismo Elisava in Barcelona. Javier Mariscal has worked mainly as a graphic designer but he has also been active as a painter. In 1973 Javier Mariscal joined friends to draw "El Rrollo Enmascarado", the first undergound comic published in Spain. Two months after it was published, all copies were confiscated by the regime. Until 1975 Javier Mariscal the lived on Ibiza, where he produced other comics and designed his first furniture. In 1976 Javier Mariscal returned to Barcelona to freelance as a graphic artist and designer.
In 1979 Javier Mariscal developed the BAR-CEL-ONA lettering, the silhouettes of which are like a window on scenarios beyond. In 1980 Javier Mariscal designed the "Dúplex" barstool for the Dúplex Bar in Valencia. This quirky barstool, which slants and is crooked since it stands on three spindly unmatched legs, made the world sit up and notice Javier Mariscal as a furniture designer. Galerie Vincon mounted "Muebles amorales", an exhibition of mit Mariscal's Postmodern designs, which made Ettore Sottsass invite him to participate in the 1981 "Memphis International Style" in Milan. Javier Mariscal showed the "Hilton trolley" and the "Colón" table there.
In subsequent years, Javier Mariscal continued to design furniture as well as textiles and objects of ceramics and glass. In 1988 he created "Olé", a vase wearing a hat, and "Garriri", a chair sporting large Micky-Mouse ears on the back as well as comics footwear on the chair legs.
Javier Mariscal's designs are always funny and recall figures from comic books. The comics style also influenced his commercial graphics designs. In 1987 Javier Mariscal participated in the competition to design the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games mascot, coming up with the attractive Cobi figure. In collaboration with the architect Alfredo Arribas, Javier Mariscal designed Gambrinus, a trendy Barcelona scene restaurant in 1988.

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Günther Uecker
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