• When they write the obituary for the human race (give it a couple of years), no-one will be able to...

    When they write the obituary for the human race (give it a couple of years), no-one will be able to say we didn’t make an impression. From the curve of coastlines to pedigree dogs, there is very little in the world that we have not reshaped at our whim. Yet if we were to vanish, our cities and monuments would be almost completely reclaimed by nature faster than you can say “Ozymandias”. You might spend your life killing time but, at some point or another, it’ll return the favour. Time is one of the most powerful forces in the universe, yet is completely intangible. Despite this impalpability, the passage of time is an integral theme in the works of the Spanish hyperrealist Javier Banegas. 

     

    Unless you’re going to make the world’s least cost-effective flip book out of several thousand sequential portraits, a painting will merely capture a moment in time rather than the passage of it. Instead, Banegas approaches his themes with a subtlety occluded by the monumental size of his artworks. His subjects are casually discarded objects that speak to human activity, which echo with the silence of passing time. A classic example is Colour Shavings II: a piece portraying spirals of pencil shavings rendered into something otherworldly by their size and crystalline clarity. Under his brush the mundanity of the shavings loom like the sloughed off skin of some monstrous rainbow patterned basilisk. Whilst the arresting explosion of colour is what grabs your attention, what keeps it is the unusual sense of transition. In Banegas’s work, mundane objects and detritus loom as awesome monuments, but well-used ones.

  • Colour Skyline III oil on board, 85 x 190 cm
  • In Blue, depicting three used blue ink pots, the jauntily absent cap of the middle pot implies drawing or painting...

    Blue oil on board, 100 x 100 cm

    In Blue, depicting three used blue ink pots, the jauntily absent cap of the middle pot implies drawing or painting taking place just beyond the frame. The focus might be on the objects but you can feel the presence of human activity bustling through a still life that feels anything but.

     

    Whilst the monumentality of his artworks is what initially draws the eye, his approach to colour is what roots the viewer to the floor. Whilst Banegas’s subject matter might be every day, the colours he utilises are almost hallucinogenic in their intensity; and the vivacity that he imbues is magnetic. The absolute focus that he achieves on the minutiae of life forces an unconscious reckoning with its transitory nature. This is part of makes Banegas so powerful as a hyperrealist: through his exact recreation of a moment in time he manages to suggests an entire world taking place beyond the bounds of the painting; the nature of which he is pointedly withholds. He finds a way to turns hyperrealism’s explicit nature inside out and refocuses our attention so subtly that you can be unaware that he’s even doing it. In placing life in close up, he finds a way to insinuate as much as show. Whilst his striking approach to hyperrealism might reveal details that we would idly gloss over in real life, he is a master of creating a feeling of mystery.  

  • Behind the Scenes with Javier Banegas

  • Most Recent Works

  • In Eight, a blue glass cup rises with the veneration of a holy relic atop a crumbling box of dominos...

    Eight oil on board, 80 x 94 cm

    In Eight, a blue glass cup rises with the veneration of a holy relic atop a crumbling box of dominos whilst an organic looking loop of cassette tape drapes around its base like a questing vine. The overall feel is something akin to the Marie Celeste; movement has been interrupted but rail services may resume at any moment. Banegas perfects this feeling in Dream, where a hail of ink pots hang suspended in mid-air like frozen birds of paradise. These objects may be small and everyday tools, that we use and discard without a second thought. But for Banegas we are the ones who have to step aside, it’s their time now.

    Max Feldman 

  • “There are so many visions of reality as people interpret stimuli in so many ways, and this, in the case of painting, produces a multitude of different results, all equally valid. There is no one reality, only our interpretation of it.” - Javier Banegas
  • Other Available Works

  • All works featured are currently available. For any enquires email maria@plusonegallery, maggie@plusonegallery or call the gallery directly on 020 7730 7656.