Art Style: symbolism

Art Style: symbolism

Symbolism in the Art of Totom

Antonio García Calvente, Totom, has been one of the few Madrid symbolist painters of the s. XX and XIX.

His creative process is developed from an individuationist vision, based on interior and exterior symbology.

Through art, he tries to create bridges of encounter with the human spirit that lead us to a deeper knowledge of reality, in order to fully develop our essential capacities.

Essential Symbolism

The use of symbols brings us closer to the essential truths in which we get lost and wander within the generational, social or personal unconscious.

The symbols lead us to the awakening of our wisdom, illuminating the hidden by introducing us to hidden feelings that are not visible from the conscious.

Antonio García Calvente, student of Carl Gustav Jung, of alchemy and Taoist practitioner, used the purest and oldest symbols in his art, forcing the viewer to observe his own essence from a much more direct and focused perspective, avoiding everything superfluous and connecting with the silent voice of the soul.

For this reason, in his different works the same keys and symbols will be repeated, which will be used just like keys, as direct bridges to the essence of the human being.

tintas zen

The Fish Symbol

“In the northern sea lives a fish. It is called K’un, it is immense; it measures I don’t know how many thousands of miles. This fish transforms into a bird and is called P,eng. Its back measures I don’t know how many thousands of miles. Swift It’s your flight.”

Recreation, Chapter 1, Book One (Interiors) by Chuang Tzu

The fish is one of the aspects of the Ying Yang. It is the symbol of the duality of everything that exists in the Universe, the fundamental forces, opposite and complementary, that are found in all things that are born from heaven and earth.

When the fish looks up it sees everything blue, when it looks down it sees everything blue. That is why it lives right in the center, it is the center where all things come together, the heart.

The Tree Symbol

The tree is growth, expansion. It is the manifestation from the essence.

They are our roots and all the individual and collective processes to achieve totality.

They are the paths that we generate, but also the paths that precede us.

It is the central point and axis of the world, whose roots and branches connect us with the earth and the sky, with the origin and everything.

The Horse Symbol

The horse is the will in action, it is the pure and wild creative force. Also represented as the dragon which determines this creativity of the spirit, the horse is a much more accessible symbol for the West as the divine will made manifest.

It is a wild, untamed and often uncomfortable force of nature that we all have within us.

It is the human and divine creative power, the ability to be, do, say, decree, manifest, live, experience.

The Pegasus Symbol

Pegasus is an alchemical symbol.

It symbolizes spiritual transformation, elevation. The same pure and raw manifestation of the will at the service of the sacred.

It is the human who uses all the creative power of him in a higher direction. It unites the concepts of power, freedom, and creativity.

It represents the completion of the process of soul development.

In sacred alchemy, it is the end of the work, the conclusion and goal of every alchemist.


watercolor tao

Ensō means circle in Japanese. Although it is a Zen concept, it has its origin in the Taoism of China.

It symbolizes the eternal, the state of the buddhic and awakened mind, the enlightened mind that manifests in humans at the moment when the body and spirit are at the service of creative power.

It is emptiness manifesting through the great active force.

It is the pure essence, the silence from which all manifestation arises.

The Sun and the Moon

The sun and the moon are two opposites within the philosophical alchemy.

They are gold and silver, day and night. Their marriage will result in the Philosopher’s Gold.

These two aspects are also in our mind, in the conscious and unconscious, in the clear light and the dark night of the soul.

It is the mystical marriage also symbolized by the siren and the centaur, by the nymph and the satyr, by the mother and the father.

The feminine

gara0012 large

In the work of Antonio García Calvente, we find an attentive look at the feminine, as if trying to scrutinize every detail, delve into it, adapt and find the essence of women.


The woman is the receptive aspect, that gestates life, that feeds, nourishes, is the beauty that gives form, that nourishes and calms, that appeases and calms.


The woman is the mountain, she is the earth, she is the water, she is the original source.