This painting’s titular juggler (or magician) stands on the platform of a carnivalesque cart filled with fantastical objects and animals. He performs before seemingly identical figures robed in a single gray cloak. To produce this composition, Varo worked in the manner of early Renaissance masters: she transposed preparatory drawings onto a gesso-primed panel which had been scratched to give it texture. She also deployed decalcomania, a technique favored by the Surrealists in which materials such as paper or aluminum foil are pressed onto wet paint to transfer a pattern that may be embellished. Its atmospheric effects can be seen in the magician’s garments and in the background trees.
Gallery label from 2019