Carlos Peñalver is a Spanish artist, born in Alicante in 1988 and based in London. He has studied architecture in Alicante, Ljubljana, and Shanghai. More recently developing a career as a mural artist, with installations including London School of Economics and City Point, Carlos’s work is recognised for its characteristic and signature black and white organic line drawings. He works across a vast range of sizes, from paper-based pieces to huge murals, but he also works with short film animations, digital art and architectural visualisation. Carlos calls himself a performance artist, working from memory using continuous single strokes.
Many of Carlos’s works are free form and this is a deliberate and conscious decision on the part of the artist. Considering his drawings his space in which to make mistakes, Carlos experiments while he works, some times his larger works springing from his smaller pieces. Carlos speaks of his ‘big drawings made of many smaller ideas where all things I think of take place’.
Working across all forms and in an unconstrained way, Carlos considers likens his works to the annotation in the margins of a book. He brings to life characters and desires that spring to mind. Carlo’s pieces bear closer scrutiny as the artist tucks away secrets and memories within drawings for the viewer to explore and discover if they can.
As a result, Carlos’s work is inventive and has a psychological aspect to it. When delving into these pieces, the viewer may be able to find the twists and hints of criticism within. Carlos’s work is held to – sometimes – have a childish tone, but this is also mostly thought to be harmless.
What sets Carlos aside from other artists is that his works are so organic and come from a place of deep thought and memory that they are hard, even impossible, to replicate. Dynamic and changeable, Carlos’s work can be called both visceral and unpredictable at times.
2014 ‘Temple 01’ Beijing Cityvision Competition, Beijing, China
2016 Solo Exhibition AMS, Shanghai, China
2016 Solo Exhibition ‘One Earth’, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2021 ‘Best For You’ mural at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
2023 mural at Renaissance Foundation, Crypt of St Botolph’s, London, UK
2023 mural at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
2022 mural in the basement of Dorrington, Hatton Garden, London, UK
2022 mural at Rooftop at the Dorrington, Hatton Garden, London, UK
2022 Installation at Inhabit Hotel, Queens Gardens, Paddington, London, UK
2021 Installation at Hilton Headquarters, London, UK
2021 mural at Office Hub AMP Capital, Berkeley Square, London, UK
2020 mural at Entrance Hall Brookfield Properties, Citypoint, London, UK
2020 vinyl installation mural at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
2019 mural at Auditorium of London School of Economics, by architect Richard Rogers, London, UK
2019 installation mural at 1 Westfield Avenue by architect Richard Rogers, London, UK
2018 mural for Cornerstone Hackney by chef Tom Brown, London, UK
2018 mural for Taiyakiya, Chinatown, London, UK
2020 Artist residency at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London, UK
2019 AE in Architecture Lecture at Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
2016 Artist residency Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2014 Master’s Degree in Architecture, Alicante, Spain
BY Carlos Peñalver
BY Carlos Peñalver