Mercedes Carbonell was born in Cadiz, Southern Spain, on 7th September 1963. From one terrace of her home she could see the Atlantic, from another, the Mediterranean. One of five children, she began sculpting at the age of three, and drawing and painting aged 16. Mercedes studied Fine Arts at the University of Seville for five years, graduating with a Licenciatura Bellas Artes. In 1997, She was the recipient of the first grant given to a woman artist by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. She began her professional career as a portrait artist with an innovative and conceptual approach art influenced by the contemporary world. As well as oil on canvas she employs 24k gold and glue, embroidery looms, and vintage Olivetti architects’ typewriters. Her concept of art centres on unique and groundbreaking views, adapting her personal circumstances, surroundings and belongings to her exposition of the human form. Carbonell’s work is underpinned by a flawless classical technique and her draughtsmanship as been described ‘as as clear and precise as a Clichy crystal.’ Building on her knowledge and understanding of the human form, Carbonell’s work knows no boundaries in its search for new materials and methods to facilitate artistic expression. As well as her oil portraits, Carbonell’s Ipad drawings and nudes on paper, with moving gold leaf within their frameworks, are particularly popular. In her native Spain, she has received the highest artistic honours.
In 1998 the Spanish Government chose her work to commemorate the centenary of the death of writer Frederico Garcia Lorca. Carbonell first came to London aged 19, and is now based in Queen’s Park, where she has a studio and two cats. She also works from the Chiltern Firehouse in Chiltern Street, London. A book of her Ipad drawings of the hotel’s glitterarti will be published by the Chiltern’s owner, Andre Balazs in 2019. In her native Spain, Carbonell’s work has been acquired by such prestigious institutions as the Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid and exhibited in the Andalusian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Architectural College in Seville, where she has been called a ‘dynamic combination of the passion of a Picasso, and Velasquez’s mirror onto the human soul.’ Her first solo exhibition in London took place when she was just 24. Her second London exhibition will take place in 2019.