The emerging presence of the circumscribed face
by Enric Mira Pastor

Eduard Ibanez continues to explore the depths of his creative passion for the human body, luxuriating in the pleasure of its interpetation, shaping his aesthetic vision of humanity in a personal adaptation of the sense of balance and symmetry, typical of classical composition. In his latest work, animals and vegetables conspire to expressively enhance the vivid imprint of facial features, celebrating the organic pliabiblity of the animated world, filling each image with deities. Eduard Ibanez sways between both interpretations, taking the psychological identification of the person photographed as his starting point, only to end up molding each face into an allegorical figure of universal significatio. It is for this reason that the specific interpretation of a human face in a photograph is not to be understood as a strategy aimed at revealing the secret intimacy of another, but rather as an act of appropriating of that person's mask. Eduard Ibanez defines his proposal as an exercise in the circumscription of the face of another, yet the fact that the face is effectively made concrete here does not lead to a decrease in its essential elements, but rather introduces us to its process of deconstruction. Deconstruction occurs as a result of the attempt to represent the face as an exraordinary thing, rediscovering it in the juxtaposition of various levels of visual codification.
The meaning of each work is thus born of a peculiar iconic, sign-based intertextuality made explicit in the process of its elaboration. Each step in the composition of the work leads to a series of layers partially covering the face, shading its features, hiding it in order to afford it renewed value as an image. Faces appear as emerging presences, silent informers no longer naked but rather draped in a universe of petals, dry leaves, feathers, fish, insects and a whole, complete language of animals and vegetables making up the metaphorical atrezzo of each image. It is as though these faces were coming undone in the distortion of their artistic representation, producing a surreal effect, the collapse of the natural order of reality. In this way the figures represented here, faces which have lost their psychological content, come to be symbols of mythological and religious reference.

Eduard Ibanez creates an archeological operation, an aesthetic salvaging of ancient secrets, not so much so as to redeem them from the enigmas which time and culture have engraved on them, as to simply let their beauty captivate us, causing our gaze to succumb to the power of a distant, oneiric evocation.

Eduard Ibanez was born in Valencia, Spain in1954. He studied at the Fine Arts department of the University of Valencia where he is actually a teacher. Since 1980 he has presented his work in a large number of solo and group exhibitions in Spain, France, Austria as well as participated in Festivals of Contemporary art in Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, Germany, Austria and Japan.