Javier Banegas

Hyperrealist paintings are often accused of being excessively explicit, giving the assumption that immaculate renditions of a photograph or scene leaves no room for the artist to create conceptual depth. Depth that sparks the imagination of the viewer. However, the suggestive approach of Spanish artist Javier Banegas challenges this assumption. 

 

Banegas produces close-up still life depictions of items that have been altered by the presence of humans. He explores interaction with these items and, whether it is the shaving from a pencil or paint pots left without lids, gives the impression that someone, somewhere is not quite finished.

 

Present in all his works is the essence of human interaction and used objects that denote a passing of time. The monumentality Banegas creates by enlarging objects stimulates the viewer to appreciate the inner beauty and meaning of the mundane. Just as one artist would paint flowers in full bloom, Javier Banegas paints objects in a period of transition. The difference being that the subjects of his paintings are inanimate, therefore they are not suspended in life but instead are captured after action. 

"Fourteen years have passed since I saw the first work by Javier Banegas, a little mixed technique which represents an electric mechanism, a coil perhaps, from which two wires showed to have done their duty for a long time. It was neither especially extraordinary for its refined technique, nor shocking for its dimensions and, what is more, I remember it as a simple composition. However, the intimacy and the veneration for the mentioned object that the work inspired seduced me immediately.

Reading the interesting introduction that Javier Rubio wrote about the last individual exhibition of Javier Banegas's works, where he describes the 'thunderous silence' present in it, I cannot but join his thesis and reflect on it. Thinking, for instance, that silence reflects the elimination of the noise of the unnecessary things, the synthesis of the substantial and that, in despite of the passage of years, those qualities were already present in his first works.

Ever since his inception, Javier has developed and enriched his plastic language. He has also increased the influences and experiences that affect his work, in order to emerge himself more clearly.

In spite of being a realist artist, Javier Banegas suggests much more than he relates. He evokes more than he specifies. He tells more about what he hides than about what he shows. As a result, a 'human dehumanization' takes place in his work. It is difficult to find people represented in his paintings, but despite this fact, his repeated main characters are the passing of time and the human mark.

Realist painting is sometimes accused of being excessively explicit. However, in this sense, Javier's work turns out more suggestive than narrative. If saying much with a few words is a good communicator's virtue, I have to conclude saying that the evoking ability of a work speaks very well about itself and better about the artist it was created by."

- Santiago S. Echeberría, extract from Echoes of Time

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