Miquel Barceló was born in Felanitx, Mallorca, in 1957. After having studied at the Arts and Crafts School of Palma de Mallorca for two years, he enrolled at the Fine Arts School of Barcelona in 1974. A year later he returned to Mallorca to participate in the happenings and actions of protest of the group Taller Lunatic, a conceptual avantgarde group. A year after his return to Mallorca he had his first one-man show at the Palma Museum.
Throughout the 1980s, he travelled extensively across Europe, the United States and West Africa – always returning to Paris which became a second home and where he set up a second studio. Extremely fascinated by Mali, a third studio was installed in Segou. Because of the political situation Barceló is not able to travel to Mali any more. The time Barceló spent in different countries, his nomadism or peripatetic habits essentially influenced and inspired his work, most strongly the impressions of West Africa: the power of its light, the scorching sun, the rocky landscape, the sea and rivers.
His participation at the Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany, in 1982 gained him international recognition. Barceló's creativity was in demand for a lot of opportunities; in 1990 he designed costumes and the stage for Manuel De Falla's opera Tréteaux de Maître Pierre at the Opéra Comique in Paris and at the Festival of Avignon 2006 he is part of a performance with choreographer Joseph Nadj. In 2002/2003 Barceló almost entirely lined the chapel of St. Peter of the cathedral of Palma with ceramic works. He was using ceramics not as objects (like the series of ritual icons which he did in 1998 for the church Sant Eulalia, Church of the Catalans, in Palermo, Sicily) but for the formation of a crafted mural of approximately 300m2. Barceló covered the entire chapel with terracotta, creating a kind of second skin and decorated it with images related to the sixth chapter of the Gospel of St. John, the miracle of the multiplication of bread and fish, a theme chosen because the chapel is dedicated to the holy sacrament of the Last Supper. In 2004 Barceló's watercolours, illustrating Dante's Divina Commedia, were shown at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Thus, he became the youngest artist ever shown in this museum. 2008 was the inauguration of the enormous ceiling painting in the ellipsoidal dome (1300m2) in the Human Rights Council room at UNO in Geneva and in 2009 the Pavillon of the Venice Biennale (Spanish Pavillon 53rd Venice Biennale) was exclusively decorated with the works of Barceló.
From the mid eighties on, Barceló's work (paintings, drawings, sculptures and ceramics) has been subject of numerous shows worldwide in renowned galleries, important museums and at other cultural sites.
Miquel Barceló currently lives and works in Paris and Mallorca.