About the Photographer
Spanish, b. 1963
Photography translates three dimensions into two, representing a world with depth and volume as a flat image that provides the illusion of space. Meanwhile the photographic image usually establishes a sense of a visual order, suggesting stable relationships between the various elements it depicts as they are momentarily aligned from a certain viewpoint. Known primarily for his drawings, paintings and sculptures, Pello Irazu recently began incorporating photography into his work. In these explorations, which ambiguously fuse the different media, Irazu highlights the tension between the two-dimensional surface of the image and its representation of space, prodding us to consider exactly what we are seeing.
Irazu's sculptures are the starting point for the La Fábrica (Belgrado) series, if not precisely their subject. After constructing a sculpture in his studio—in this case a stack of boxes on a simple chair—he photographs it with tight framing and using a shallow depth of field. Irazu then prints the photograph and applies layers of acrylic paint to the surface. The painted portions both integrate with and destabilize the logical order of the image. Depending on where your eyes rest within the picture, the paint either appears as a superficial addition, accentuating the photograph's flatness, or it seems to blend into the sculpture in the photograph in a trompe l'oeil fashion. The two works by Irazu in MoCP's collection are variations on the same photograph but with different painted elements, which reflects the diversity in effect that can be acheived in simple variations in line and color, as well as the experimental nature of the artist's formal investigations. Pello Irazu lives and works in Bilbao, Spain.