Saturday, 8 March 2014

Treading Uncharted Territories

One of our major concerns has been to bring you Art that touches the heart and to show innovative approaches that can set minds working and stir emotions. The recent and continuous improvement that has been brought by new technologies offers artists plenty of field for groundbreaking experiences to the wonder and benefit of viewers. That is precisely what has prompted our choice of the artist we are featuring today.

Nacho Ormaechea, a Spanish graphic designer and artist living in Paris, creates stunning beautiful digital collages by filling silhouettes of people photographed on their everyday routines in the streets with apparently incompatible images, thus providing an unexpected and thought-provoking result.

In fact, Ormaechea’s use of perplexing juxtapositions as far as colour, settings and subjects are concerned can only set viewers’ minds wondering about the possible meanings that can be assigned to each of his works. Using photography as his basic medium and thereby freezing moments in his subjects’ lives forever, Nacho Ormaechea arrests them, makes them his own and fills them with his own ideas, feelings and/or emotions by means of the collages he creates.

However, the artist’s objective is to offer spectators an opportunity to also seize his works by assigning them with their own interpretations, therefore giving his creations multiple lives, meanings, functions and roles. As Ormaechea says, he “addresse(s) multiple spectators and encourage(s) multiple readings of the same photo”.

Ormaechea’s main settings are urbanscapes and his favourite subjects are city dwellers. According to the artist, “cities [are] perfect theatres full of inspiring yet anonymous characters”. His upcoming project will have New York as setting, a city which, to the artist, has all he needs to infuse his work with energy and new ideas.

The process of creation is long and demanding, since Ormaechea mainly works with concepts. He has to come up with the basic idea he wants to convey and then figure out which can be the ideal combination – or should we rather say ‘contradiction’? – of images to go together. Working at the pixel level and given the artist’s quest for perfection, cleaning the photos and making the visual neat takes a considerable amount of time.

As Nacho Ormeachea states, “my characters, anonymous people from the street, are mirrors reflecting my state of mind as well as yours”, which makes us think of Rob Mulholland’s mirror sculptures featured in one of our previous posts. In fact, a comparison between these two artists’ creations is more than interesting in many ways. While Mulholland deals with transparency and reflections “to address our most intimate feelings and challenge us to question our very essence in its deepest frailty and transitory aspect”, Ormaechea works with the opacity of photographs and on the opacity of city dwellers’ lives with an identical objective.

All in all, Nacho Ormaechea’s art creations take viewers through uncharted territories of new art media to tread uncharted territories of their own experiences and innermost emotions.

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