Equipo Realidad was formed by Jorge Ballester and Juan Carlos Cardells in 1966 and lasted 10 years, braking up in 1976.
The painting trend in Spain changed during the sixties, returning to a figurative nature after a long period of abstraction and informality. The critics called this trend as "new figuration", which is based on the American Pop Art, but without banalizing the image and doing quite the opposite: the work is notable for having a political commitment by giving it a message of complaint to the consumer society. Equipo Realidad chooses this movement to criticize the Franco regimen of the moment and, at the same time, to connect with the people.
There are four series to highlight during the ten years of existence of this team: Home sweet home (1972), Of ancient and robes (1972), Portrait of a portrait of a portrait... (1972), The war, Warlike deeds or History paintings (1973-1976).
The artists used to say: "reality is not what it is important, it is the image", and that's why they take as a reference for their artworks images from magazines, advertisements or catalogues. They have been defined as "radical painters that, while giving up authorship, they postulate teamwork, social criticism and political commitment". For those reasons they had a lack of criticism and without it, a big difficulty selling their works.
About Equipo Realidad members we can say that Jorge Ballester and Juan Cardells met each other in 1964 at the College of Fine Arts of San Carlos. The next year they teamed up and created his first work, "The Burial of student Orgaz", which is based on the work by El Greco and in which they replaced the burial of the Count with the image of the murder of a student in Santo Domingo taken from the magazine Triunfo. In 1967 both of them signed a manifesto in which they commit themselves to serve society through art. In 1976 the team broke up for reasons like personal exhaustion of teamwork conscience, family and work circumstances, poor reception of his work, poor sales of their paintings... Equipo Realidad's last painting, "Official Reception" is unfinished and it shows an audience with the King Juan Carlos to the far-right leader Jose Giron. Some may think that the non completition of the work, which corresponds to the part of the king, might refer to the doubts that the Spanish would have had at the moment about the political future that the monarchy proposed.
Currently the work of Equipo Realidad is viewed with great interest, for both collectors and gallery owners, due to the political and historical values associated with it, the same that caused the dissolution of the team in 1976. Evidence of this interest is the purchase of fourteen works by IVAM for an anthology in 2008.