These days the term Renaissance Man is an overused phrase, often employed to indicate a person who has as yet failed to choose a specialty and instead insists on dabbling in a number of different areas – and usually displaying a distinct lack of excellence in any particular one.
Fortunately there are still exceptionally gifted people who genuinely deserve this title, and among them is Valencia’s Javier Mariscal. Born into a family of eleven brothers and sisters in February 1950, he soon displayed a prodigious artistic talent.
In 1970 he moved to Barcelona to study at the Elisava School, but left after deciding that he could rely on his own creative impulses. Like many young designers he started his career working on an underground comic, which had the effect of opening his mind to the possibilities of design. Before long not only had the young Javier learned some valuable lessons about illustration and graphic arts, but he was also thinking in terms of interior design and sculpture.
His breakthrough year was 1979, when he was given the task of creating a logo for the city of Bar Cel Ona, attracting in the process the attention of some influential people. This in turn resulted in him being asked to co-design The Duplex in Valencia, along with Fernando Salas, after which his professional stock rose considerably.
By 1989 Javier was in a sufficiently strong position to open Estudio Mariscal; following this landmark he was asked to participate in a number of prestigious projects with leading designers and architects such as Pepe Cortés, Fernando Armat, Alfredo Arribas and his old collaborator, Fernando Salas.
Since then Mariscal’s career has gone from strength to strength; his design for the Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao – close to the city’s famous Guggenheim Museum – only serving to further cement his fame.
It can truly be said that there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ for this multi-faceted man. Whether it is designing logos for some of the world’s greatest companies, adding style to the interior of a bar or restaurant, collaborating with furniture companies (like Valencia based Vondom) or even designing the diary room chair for the 2001 series of Britain’s favourite reality TV show, Big Brother, the chances are that you will have seen one of Javier Mariscal’s many designs, even if you might not have been aware of it at the time.