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The Powerful Art of Imanol Aizpuru

Joelle Renee Benoliel

 Imanol Azipuru  "Fantastical" 40x30cm Ink, watercolor

Imanol Azipuru "Fantastical" 40x30cm Ink, watercolor

Imanol Aizpuru’s art has been considered “a Cross between Kandinsky and Nickelodeon,” which cannot be a more accurate description. With Kandinsky's deeply spiritual and prophetic approach to art and Nickelodeon’s consistent ability to personify illustrated abstract characters, somehow Aizpuru captures it all. His colorful and diversely shaped subjects speak volumes to the viewer through tugging on basic human emotions and revealing a depth that is not readily prevalent.

Upon first appearance some may see Aizpuru’s art as naive or childish, but that is the disarming element that gives his paintings their power. The paintings seem unintimidating and cheerful at first, almost laughable, humorous, but then, there, in that moment, it has it’s hold. Once the viewer has begun to look, the characters themselves begin to speak, a scene and complex drama begins to unfold. When I asked Aizpuru what he is trying to speak and unveil through his art, he explained a process of creating that stems from his own emotional state and world view, but portraying his own perspectives are not the goal nor what ends up being communicated through his art. He described that his viewers end up seeing many things that he himself does not see in these expressive characters,“It really doesn't matter what I think about them but what people want to see in them. That dialogue between my art and viewer's perception is what attracts me.” It happens to be what attracts me to his art as well. Aizpuru has an indefatigable ability to paint a mirror in which the viewer sees the truth about themselves if they only choose to look long enough. There are layers upon layers of stories to be told, though Aizpuru’s narrative art work exists outside of time and space, stories without a beginning or an end.

In Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual In Art, he speaks of the artist that creates from “an internal necessity” being the tip of a forward moving pyramid extending into the future. The artist-prophet alone leads the cultural pack towards what will one day be seen as commonplace and natural, but at the time shocks the world as inconceivable or wrong. Aizpuru delivers his audience into a forward movie enlightenment in a very intimate and personal way through the colorfully  playful characters that grace his canvases. They speak truths of the viewer to the viewer that Aizpuru does not even see. This is the beauty and power of his work. 

Imanol Aizpuru is a contemporary artist living and working in the Basque region of Spain. His Murals can be seen on the walls of ancient streets around St. Sebastian, Bilboa, and Beasain, Spain. He is currently working on a new exploration of screen printing as well as painting his Characters everyday.

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