Through his paintings, Joseba Eskubi maps out a world of magic realism, contrasting intense colours and darkness to create dreamlike yet atmospheric images that simultaneously capture and confound you. His indistinguishable shapes and figures seem to move within the painting as if on a journey, caught isolated against the threatening backdrop of nothingness.
I live and work in Bilbao. I studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Basque Country, where I am currently a professor.
I have always enjoyed working with images; many years ago drawing was my main activity. Later, I discovered oil painting and over the years this daily activity has acquired a broader perspective.
The deep dark backgrounds allow you to create a distance between the foreground figure and the context in which it is located. The central element is profiled on an atmospheric stage. The solid element is in front of a vacuum of still life where we fail to guess the main element, but we also perceive its presence as something inevitable.
The thoughts and emotions that I feel during the process of painting are very diverse and conflicting but almost always have some intensity and tension. Each work requires a concrete and specific approach.
I like to contrast and clash highly saturated colors. Sometimes I have to modulate this to extreme tones because otherwise the composition crumbles. Finally, it's about finding a balance between this chromatic intensity and the perception of shapes and volumes. I use light as a resource that dramatizes the images, leaving some zones exposed and others dipped in shadows.
Yes, these figures are open to multiple readings and analogies. I usually combine certain figurative readings with others that reveal the abstract sense of the work, trying to maintain a sense of ambiguity that allows for evocation around the shapes. The motion constructs a three-dimensional figure that is decoded simultaneously as purely material.
The painting is renewed in each view; fortunately, there are no two identical ways of seeing the same work.
In my paintings, there are certain limits that I like to keep (a kind of composition, use of light). This central argument becomes more apparent over time with the internal changes in the figures, as if they have experienced a process of metamorphosis altering their qualities.
Yes, architecture that loses its function and remains as a ruin, producing new structures and forms. This apocalyptic atmosphere turns buildings into something strange and disturbing. I like how something so stable and compact becomes fragile.
I use visual fragments from various fields: details of my own paintings, photos, etc. The final image is a hybrid, a mixture of different things: a collage that confronts different processes. The digital universe is vast; you can access and create numerous effects. In my case, I prefer to use a smaller number of them and so reduce the level of anxiety from this complex and labyrinthine technique.
I feel that painting is the practice from which other mediums diverge. It’s a kind of loop where everything is linked and related to the same visual narrative.
Logically, photography and digital art have their own laws, but I don’t like to cause too many cuts in the process. With painting, everything flows in one direction.
I don’t believe in inspiration as something abrupt. I believe more in the insistence: this constant activity that you brood over - a curiosity about everything that happens daily in the studio. The process of painting always has something of adventure and discovery.
I feel a special affinity for Baroque paintings: whirling figures, flesh, the luminous emerging from the vacuum...
I have two exhibitions coming soon. One intervention in the Oratorio of San Mercurio of Palermo, curated by Adalberto Abbate and an exhibition of my latest paintings in the Artdocks Gallery of Bremen with André Schmucki, curated by Uwe Goldenstein.