Eduardo Urculo
4 min

The Female Body In the Pop Art of Eduardo Úrculo

4 min

"The face is what least interests me about the body; the back ("el culo") is more universal." These words belong to the prominent representative of the Pop Art movement in Spain, Eduardo Úrculo (1938-2003), who celebrated the female bottom, regarding it as the most unmentionable zone, though, in art it seems, on the contrary, to be the most mentionable one. In 2001, the artist even erected in Oviedo, where his career began, the notorious Culis Monumentabilis, a four-meter sculpture of the female body's lower part. One of the recurring motifs of his art was an image of a woman drowning in blankets and cushions, which is typically similar to shunga prints. In later years, the painter referred to Japanese aesthetics, depicting geishas in a cubist and pop art manner.

 Martinez Campos

Fig. 1. Martinez Campos (

 Calvo Sotelo by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 2. Calvo Sotelo (

 Interior/Lying Woman by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 3. Interior/Lying Woman (

 Culis Monumentabilis by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 4. Culis Monumentabilis (

 Japanese dream by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 5. Japanese Dream (

 geisha by Japanese dream by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 6. Geisha (

 South Wind on Mount Fuji by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 7. South Wind on Mount Fuji (

Picture Books

Eduardo Úrculo was one of three kids in the family of a clerk. The Spanish Civil War threw them, like many other families, into extreme poverty. In 1941, they had to move to the mining village of Langreo, Asturia (Northwest Spain). Ten years old, Úrculo enrolled in the Instituto de Enseñanza Media and dropped out four years later after falling ill with hepatitis. Anyway, that period was crucial for Ùrculo because, in these years, from picture books, he learned of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, and Amedeo Modigliani, whose art moved him toward the career of a painter.

The Hunt of the Centaur by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 8. The Hunt of the Centaur (

 The Woman with Stallions and a Bull by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 9. The Woman with Stallions and a Bull (

 Two Figures by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 10. Two Figures (

 My Obsession by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 11. My Obsession (

  Eros thinks that everything is much simpler by Eduardo Úrculo

Fig. 12. Eros thinks that everything is much simpler (

Love at First Sight

Though expelled, Ùrculo continued drawing and worked in the mining company Carbones de La Nueva, where his father was employed as a clerk. His first exhibition happened in 1957 in La Felguera. The same year, Úrculo started producing gangster comic illustrations in Oviedo. In 1958, he was given a grant by the Langreo City Council to study at Madrid's Círculo de Bellas Artes and the Escuela Nacional de Artes Gráficas. At that time, his social expressionist art carried the influence of Picasso's Guernica and Goya's Caprichos. In 1958, he relocated to Paris to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse district. A year later, the artist returned to Oviedo and opened a studio with another artist, Zuco. His acquaintance with pop art would happen only in 1967 after he underwent military service in Tenerife and traveled to various cities. Úrculo described the first encounter with the works of Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg as "un flechazo" ("love at first sight"). In the 1970s, he visited Portugal, Morocco, and Ibiza, which inspired him to create the series of vivid erotic paintings presented in this article.

Green Heels by Eduardo Urculo

Fig. 13. Green Heels , 1977 (

Eduardo Urculo

Fig. 14.

In the deluxe Premium edition more on Úrculo's view on the female nude, his influences and 50+ additional artworks.

Click HERE for the "Bedroom Paintings" of the American Pop Art artist Tom Wesselmann