The ‘Homúnculos’ constitute a thoroughly independent thematic thread in the work of Millares. They undoubtedly reflect an existentialist representation of what it means to be human, emphasising notions of anguish, pain and death. In spite of their timeless quality, these artworks also echo the great tradition of Spanish Baroque painting, from Ribera and Zurbarán to Velázquez and Carreño, particularly in the artist’s use of basic colours (black, white and red). More specifically, they evoke 17th-century paintings of martyrs and crucifixions with their bloody, eschatological atmospheres. However, Millares introduces a series of technical elements (the choice of a traditional, crude material like burlap, the cuts in the canvas, the dripping paint) into this radicalised and philosophical interpretation of religious art that somehow shift the painting’s sense of tragedy to a purely plastic terrain.
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