Michel Hacala was born alongside the Bay of Saint Jean de Luz in France. He grew up and dreamt by and on the sea. Son of a fisherman, he evolved within the milieu of a traditional Basque fishing harbour, influenced by images of hardworking men at sea and on shore. He witnessed their camaraderie and love for the beauty of their homeland, their simple or elaborate fishing boats, their tools and work movements. The routine daily life of his seaside village and its people, with the Basque culture as anchor, provided the original inspiration for his art.
Through diligent and constant practice since childhood, he has sought to communicate a truth, hard to capture at times, but certainly the engine propelling him along in his creative process. Painting a world rich in naiveté and poetry, the work of this self-taught artist focuses on both historical and human dimensions.
Hacala’s work is diverse, consisting of colourful large-format paintings, mosaics, and sculptures (wood, metal, glass, stone, concrete). His style can be figurative but also abstract. Browse through the gallery below and decide for yourself. Today, Michel Hacala is a highly established artist, valued by international collectors. His work is also prominent in many public venues throughout the Basque country, both on the French and the Spanish sides. He creates in various countries, and was most recently in Canada to document the presence of Basque fishermen whaling in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the 1500s.
Michel’s question: could art be dreaming the future before it happens?
Michel’s hope: to infuse lightness and naiveté as if growing little flowers in one’s head