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Dancing with your eyes

Ismael Iglesias 2.11.2006 - 14.12.2006


“The work of Iglesias lies in intermediary territory, between craft and sophistication, painting and installation, the real and the imagined.”


Beatriz Hérraez, “Un, dos, tres calaban, calabera”, 2005.


Since 2001, Ismael Iglesias has created a polyptych of paintings where abstract and organic shapes cohabit with geometrical elements fundamentally circular, creating an agile dynamic of rhythms, gestures and spaces. The work of this young Basque painter starts with the abstraction and goes generating its peculiar language: a retinal, purified, physical language that hits the eye and where the appearances are not cheating but are virtual realities. In fact, Iglesias is taking advantage of some resources provided by the TV, cinema, computers, video, and references from the digital culture in order to foment abstract representations of his own visual ideas.  The general denominator of all those influences could be the zapping as a way of creation and action. Thus, Iglesias’s pictorial universe is interrelated as the same time as is generating ruptures in continuity in both space and time – what is called jump cut in cinema.


The artist works with the idea of fragmentation and the possible unity in the polyptych: he plays with a puzzle of paintings that are fit together or separated in relationship with the exhibition’s space. For each exhibition, Iglesias develops specific projects where he fits the works to the space in order to create pictorial environments, to change for a moment the original atmosphere. In fact, the artist is interested as much in the boundaries of the frames than in the expansion of the paint to the limits of the painting, like the fitted carpet and the murals. His works can perform as well as autonomous entities than as a strategic composition, a work that has a lot a pieces, a macro-piece. Thus, we could say that all the work of Iglesias is playful and in fact, the title of his solo exhibition in ADN gallery invites us to have a game, to entertain (“Let’s dance”) with our eyes. There is the game created by the false repetition of forms and colours between the paintings which leads to the intervention of the spectator. Indeed, Iglesias always creates a graphic element which is repeated on different surfaces and on the same interiors of some paintings. The general idea resolves around the idea of corporate identity, of brands. There is also the game for the eye which has to be moving and generating relationships inside and between the frames, facing with an explosion of shapes, acid colours and depth. Then, the eye, in the same way as the brain, is facing a polyptych of representations of visual ideas. In his recent works, we can also immediately consider the great influence of the Op-art.


In conclusion, if nowadays the reception’s phenomena of an artwork is a great topic, Ismael Iglesias has achieved his challenge to turn the painting into being amusing, entertaining and to surprise the spectator with “synthetic” images that are like enigmas, magic and strange. More than moving the spectator, it might be to intrigue him, to fascinate him, to immerse him in the world that he creates. Iglesias invites us to dance, to a visual dance during which we could have other perception of the space and could imagine other virtual worlds.


Ismael Iglesias participated recently in the collective show “Gure Artea” at Koldo Mitexelena (San Sebastian, Spain) and received the second international award of Mantero (Como, Italy). He was resident in 2005 at the Bilbao Arte foundation and his works belong to various national public collections. 

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