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Artists of Ibiza

Artists on Ibiza (Six)


Vicent Calbet

Commentary by Gary Hardy



I consider myself privileged to have personally known and spent some good quality time with Vicent Calbet, who was a quiet and a reserved gentleman with a natural talent for the art of using brilliant Mediterranean colours in his wonderful paintings.

José P Ribas has done a good job on writing the biography of this famous Ibicencan artist. I also thought it would be appropriate if I were to include some pictures of Vicent, his home and studio that I was fortune to have taken during the time I had the pleasure to spend amongst this unique man.

Sunday afternoon was quite an event at Vicent's finca on the outskirts of San José, where his family and friends will always lovingly remember him as being a generous host.

Colourful characters from all walks of life would appear at his home on a Sunday afternoon bringing with them pigeons in cages, buckets of live lobsters with excellent bottles of vino and cava to be washed down with the food that was prepared for impromptu feasts fit for a king.

Vicent Calbet in His Studio (November 1988)
Antoni Planells & Vicent Calbet
Ibiza Port (November 1988)
Antoni Planells & Vicent Calbet
Palma (February 1992)
Vicent Calbet's Studio (November 1988
Vicent Calbet relaxing at his home with friends (February 1988)
Inside Vicent Calbet's Finca (February 1988)
Vicent Calbet at home pondering over his next painting (February 1988)
Vicent Calbet laughing with a friend on his porch (November 1988)

All Pictures © Gary Hardy (February & November 1988 & February 1999)

Unfortunately, Vicent Calbet departed this life prematurely and in his prime as a truly great painter. He died at the age of 55 whilst in Japan preparing an exhibition of his work. Calbet had left Ibiza in April 1994 for the Japanese City of Fukuoka but was suddenly taken ill and died of a heart attack due to excess medication.

According to his close friend and travelling companion, Antoni Planells, Calbet hated flying and had taken large doses of tranquillisers before boarding the aeroplane for the flight to Japan. He felt ill while still on board and on his arrival went straight to his hotel room to rest. Antoni found him dead the next early morning when he went into his room to wake him.

The artist's death came as a terrible shock to his family, many friends and critics alike. At the time, Albert Ribas, director of the Sa Nostra Culture Centre in Palma de Mallorca said that it was a "sad blow" to the Spanish artistic colony as Calbet was one of the greatest artists in Spain.

Gary Hardy