October 2, 2018

Woodcuts by Ibañez

        Here is a sampling of wood block prints by Josemaria Ibañez (Chile, b. 1975).  He has a range of styles, from relatively naturalistic to quite stylized and symbolic, but all his work has a bold, graphic quality.  I’m featuring a few of my favorites, of course.
        First up, an aerial view with lots of little details reminiscent of “Where’s Waldo” or something by Mitsumasa Anno.  There are people sunning in the plaza, and people visible in a couple of windows.  A woman appears to be dancing across a crosswalk.  Alas, these pictures are very small while the original is fairly large (50x80cm), so I can’t really enjoy the details as much as I would like, but it’s clearly a fun piece.
        Next, another one that frustrates me with my inability to see it larger.  This one is a pretty realistic view of Heidelberg, Germany, with proper perspective and all.  Nevertheless, the tree-covered
hills are patterned in an interesting, stylized way, and the use of both black and white outlines around some of the roofs and buildings is characteristic.  I find the black, untextured trees in the foreground especially effective.
        And then, for variety, a very simple, almost cartoonish piece, entitled “I Don’t Want to Be Late.”  I can certainly relate to the character vaulting along the treetops, bypassing all the cars and trucks.  Who hasn’t imagined that they could go faster than the traffic, flying along in leaps and bounds?

[Pictures: Mapocho Arereo (Aerial Mapocho), wood block print by Josemaria Ibañez;
Heidelberg, wood block print by Ibañez;
No Quiero Llegar Tarde (I Do Not Want to be Late), wood block print by Ibañez (All images from Josemaria Ibañez).]

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