40's Early Figurative:
Like many other artists, Puigmarti began his artistic research using figuration as a means to develop his drawing and technique. Nevertheless, he shows a decisive and non-hesitating stroke from the beginning.
50's Schematic Expressionism:
During the 50's, Puigmartí begins his career in art with his first exhibition, in Barcelona, having great success among the art critics as well as among the audience.
His paintings offer a very detailed background, using thick painting areas. His characters show everyday scenes with an expressionist treatment. This means that there's a strong interaction of colours, and light.
Also, the characters have expression: they show (express) their emotions, feelings or state of mind. Areas surrounding these characters, start to show the "loose hand" and automatic gestures that are one of the main features throughout Puigmarti's career.
During the 60's, Puigmartí starts travelling. He always behaves as a wanderer of art. He was travelling for almost 40 years. He visits and holds exhibitions in Paris, Sweden, Denmark, Italy and returns to Barcelona for exhibitions, but not to stay.
The human figure dissapears from his artworks and he presents himself as an informalist artist. This fact makes him deepen into abstraction. Some of his works show thick materials stack without any order in a free accumulating process and in an almost monochromatic atmosphere.
Other artworks from this decade are flat, without accumulations; but show the freedom of the artist when creating them, by smoking wet paint with a blowtorch that tints the monochromatic surface of paint. This action reinforces the spatial vision of the final artwork.
During this period, Puigmartí begins his public perfomances in galleries. Ex.: In one of his exhibitions in Goteborg, he takes the blowtorch and smokes the paintings in front of the audience.
There is a 3rd style that he starts to develop in this era, which will remain forever: He begins to paint lyric abstractions that look like an arabesque decoration and he starts to use different materials (cardboard, glass, broken mirrors, expanded polystyrene…) to complete the presentation of his creations as if they were frames or like elements for collage.
He, also, starts to work as a fashion and advertising model.
During the 70's, Puigmartí starts to create his surrealistic erotic paintings. This style will be completely developed during the 80's.
Here in the 70's he has several series or suites:
In the early 70's he paints his series of "Profiles". These are lyric creations that show faces and profiles. We find only the oultline of these faces, whilst inside of them, there is an intensive work with many details. There is no figure. The backgroung is dark and poorly decorated.
In the late 70's he starts to paint his famous eroticism. He uses a surreal and gesture technique but the final vision of the artwork cannot be considered as his dreams surrealism from the 80's.
The final work is closer to Pop Art rather than to surrealism, altough the technique is surreal (gesture and spontaneity). Anyway, this pop artworks don't show either advertisements nor publicity. In Spain, Pop Art was not so much advertiding as in U.S.
Here pop artists use historical ingredients like kings, princesses, characters from the french era or from the Habsburgh monarchs. We could say that Puigmarti creates his own unique and personal Pop Art. Sometimes on the canvas appear several playing cards from the spanish deck of cards, musketeers, flags, shields or emblems.
We, also, find bodies without head (unlike the 80's), in impossible positions. We find, as well, high contrats in coloured areas and great chromatic interaction.
In the last years of the 70's he starts to practice with dreams surrealism mixed with automatic surrealism, resulting in beautiful bodies that still remain without head (Pep calls them "Monsters"). This is the previous step to his final surreal evolution that takes place during the early 80's.
80's Surrealistic Eroticism
In the 80's Puigmarti deepens in his erotic surrealism.
This personal surrealism, mixes both styles:
1.- Dreams Surrealism: Pep's dreams always show naked female bodies.
2.- Automatic Surrealism: His automatic gesture becomes more evident, direct and unpredictable, only led by his spontaneity and reflexed in his non-conscious acts.
The main motif in this paintings shows beautiful naked women, but they appear surrounded by hundreds of automatic details that fill all the surface of the canvas. He starts to paint full-body women, with head. His distorted monsters from the 70's become perfect female bodies that, often, are painted bald (without hair).
In this stage of his career, Puigmarti starts to include in his paintings several icons like: Buttons, fine cristal glasses, snails, chess pieces, fruits (grapes, cherries, apples,…) and, of course, several breasts on each female body (more than 2) and phallic symbols.
In this period, Puigmartí obtains very good critics from his exhibitions throughout Europe.
Apart from his exhibitions in Paris and Cannes in France, he exhibits in Los Angeles and Tokyo (Japan), where he is commisionned to prepare 50 lithographies that he signs with one of his multiple pseudonyms (Rivera, Antoine, Joseph, Pancho Lopez, Luz,...).
The technique that he uses clashes hyperrealism with automatic surrealism: The female characters are painted with high precission, almost like a photograph that contrasts with all the doodling details that decorate the surroundings and background in his canvases.
In the late 80's, Puigmarti starts to increase his loose-hand details, fact that causes a change of style. He starts to add collage and matter elements as well as he begins to simplify the perfection shown by his characters, resulting in a more automatic motif and less hyperrealistic atmosphere.
His artworks acquire a chaotic and baroque look. There are, still, some Pop Art elements (famous characters like Linda Evans), as well as some surrealistic icons have remained: glasses, buttons, breasts…
90's Art Brut (collage and matter painting):
In the 90's Puigmarti is in a period of artistic complication.
This means that in his artworks there is a lot of information in an apparently chaotic atmosphere. His baroque compositions from the 80's start to look more complex, by adding more elements like recycling objects, pieces of glass or mirrors, papers and cardboards in collage, metal pieces (buckles and belts), plastic pieces, etc. He , also, starts to use different barnishes to confer warmth and texture.
He also begins to use accidents as a part of the final work, by using paint drops or splashes.
The main motif are faces or full-body characters which in many occasions are women. We still find some erotic icons like female breasts, but now they don't have an hyperrealistic vision.
This stage in his work is related to "Art Brut" (like Jean Dubuffet) as well as "Arte Povera" (like Janis Kounellis or Mario Merz). Both styles are considered to be revolutionary and free of logical conventions (like his Informalism from the 60's), staying outside aesthetic norms.
In the case of Art brut (in English Dirty Art), artists used all kind of materials stuck to the surface of the canvas, often sand, leaves, stones, cement, mud, plaster… It is, also, called Raw Art. In Art Brut the important is the state of mind. It is considered an outsider art.
In Arte Povera (in Italian Poor Art), artists used strong collage of old magazines, newspapers, leaves, wood, stones, old glassware and in general poor objects which were very easy to find. These "objets trouvés" (found objects) can be found in most of Puigmarti's composition. Povera artists wanted to run away from the commercialization and trivialisation of art objects. The final works looked poor and dirty.
Puigmarti uses both tendences to give his works a sinister finish, but our artist has a real taste for beauty from which he cannot escape (unlike the arte povera artists). There is always, permanently, a beautiful and detailed background, created by his automatisms.
The most important feature in the 90's is the loss of importance of the female body, to give open way to his new obsession: EYES.
In his creations, women still appear, but they decrease their presence as the eyes increase theirs.
2000's Automatic Gesturalism
From the year 2000 on, the gesture and the sign prevail in his creations. The background is only the support, just like paper is the support for writing.
His surrealist roots are so deep that they even exist when they are less evident. It is true that Puigmarti arises from or can be defined within late pop-art, taking various connotations from this movement. However, even at this time, his surrealism is evident.
Aliens Fashion, Heads and Faces: series with great consistency in its development while offering us some features that reinfroce the connotations pointed through the years, as well as featuring others almost for the first time. Undoubtedly, the feature which gives us a more immediate effect is the fact that these figures and heads are made with a few strokes, whether they are smaller pieces or remarkable proportion paintings. In these evocative works, automatism is specified in a gestural, the safety of his stroke causes impact. In many cases, a single stroke fixes the composition, then he adds other equally rapid strokes which specify parts of the character's body. Occasionally, he uses collage and superposition of various materials on the surface of the canvas.
2010's Own Style | "Remaining"
He develops a new style that gets many facets from his creative past, that now he presents mixed on the same canvas.
This style is inspired by his Surrealistic Eroticism from the 80's that showed beautiful mannequins presented with hyper-real perfection. Over this theme, he extends his typical automatic gestures displayed in his works from the 2000s, with direct spontaneous strokes and stains. The result are works of great visual impact:on one hand we find the perfection of his characters and this erotic environment, and on the other, we become surprised by the subsequent thoughtless and unconscious strokes extended on the initial creation.
The Suite "Remaining" belongs to this period.