For an artist so loved and respected in his native Spain, Celedonio Perellón deserves to be better known as a talented and groundbreaking artist, especially for his erotic work. From comic art to detailed etching, as the art critic Mario Antolín Paz has written, ‘When we speak of great master illustrators of recent times, Celedonio Perellón is without a doubt one of them’.

Perellón grew up in the Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés. The son of a bookbinder, he soon devoted himself to comic book drawing and was an apprentice in the workshop of Adolfo Lapez Rubio, where other artists including Victor de la Fuente, José Laffond, Federico Blanco and Alfredo Ibarra also learned their trade. He studied at the Escuela Superior de Diseño Madrid (Madrid School of Arts and Crafts) and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (San Fernando Higher School of Fine Arts), and quickly stood out as an illustrator, winning the Lazarillo Prize for illustration of children’s literature in 1963 and the Third Medal of the Bratislava Biennial in 1967. In the genre of erotic comics he created the character of Bunda, which had a resounding success in the pages of the French magazine Lui.

After around 1970, Perellón focused his activities on painting, with exhibitions throughout Spain, and also in Toulouse, Paris and Warsaw.

In the 1980s he reduced the number of his personal exhibitions, and produced illustrations for various publishers, where he demonstrated his skill as an illustrator and engraver. In 2000 he started a fruitful collaboration with Liber Ediciones, which resulted in a series of high quality limited editions including La Celestina, Salomé, Codex Calixtinus, Mundo, Demonio y Carne, El Decamerón, Las Musas, and Amantes Célebres. His engravings use a variety of different techniques, including etching, aquatint, drypoint, lithography, xylography and serigraphy.

In the words of the novelist and poet Camilo José Cela, ‘Perellón’s work is captivatingly perfect, dangerous, sweet and cruel. He has no artistic peers either in galleries or in life, because his art is life itself, plunged into the hieratic and emotional aura of poetry, which can be said only of one in a thousand painters.’

 

Example illustration