José Navarro twists and combines everyday objects in precise photographic realism, incorporating new elements and meanings, which he describes as visual poetry.
It is easy to see the inspiration from advertisements in the work of Spanish artist José Navarro (b.1976). The result is an artform that is precise, photographic, and somewhat realistic. The simple background makes the colour pop and balance is created between neutral and bright colours. He twists and combines everyday objects, incorporating new elements and meanings which he describes as visual poetry.
His art can be stretched out to be violent, graphical, or political. It is flexible, where some of the artworks are clear references and others will develop to become one. You can see a clear idea in one piece and in others he plays around and makes a connection appear for the viewer. By taking away unwanted elements Navarro aspires to make the selected images stand out and convey a message. One of his goals is to amuse and create reflection and after this, he sends his artwork out globally by using social networks, mainly Instagram.
There is a fun mixture of forms and colors where his art becomes cartoonish and resembles but not quite becomes pop art. There are obvious and less obvious jokes in the art. At times it can be a turtle as a brain where you understand the direct humor of it and other times it can be an optical illusion. We first perceive the object as something but then it differs from one reality into another.
The Rorschach test can explain what happens when we look at the more abstract figures and illusions. The interpretation of inkblots can show certain personality traits, motivations, and personal perceptions of a person. For instance, we can look at one of Navarro’s artworks which has a peace sign carved into a wooden log.
Do you think of the hippie movement in the 70s or do you think about the discussions of climate change in 2020? Do you see the art as branding, as art to amuse children, or as deeply political? How quickly do you judge and conclude? All of this can tell us something about your personality.
Navarro’s drive comes from what is out there where his art seeks to relate and explore the immediacy of consumption, and that is why he has chosen a synthetic expression with his art. You need curiosity and thoughtfulness, Navarro states, and he discovers a new artist every day and thereby explores the current art world. The artists surprise him and influence his work and luckily, he says, the world is full of creativity. If he had to choose the greatest inspirations it would be Hopper, Dali, Magritte, Warhol, and Banksy due to the colourful surrealism, the humorous modern art, and especially the political core of Banksy's graffiti.
Different media can also inspire Navarro. He dreams of creating large print and more specifically large-scale murals where he can extrapolate his art.
The idea behind his work always has a preconceived idea behind it, but sometimes the process is spontaneous and at times it can take longer for the art to take its final shape. In terms of composition Navarro aims for harmony but what makes a good composition, as in good artwork, is harder to define. If it produces an emotion it is good, and in the opposite end if it creates indifference it is not good. Navarro does not look for anything specific but does prefer certain elements such as social criticism, popular culture, and humour. As mentioned, awakening an emotion within the viewer is central and this is what he ultimately aims for when he creates art.
This article about José Navarro takes part of the 6th anniversary magazine, ARTICULATE #25. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below.
ARTICULATE 25 is the 6th anniversary publication of ARTICULATE, showcasing the work of 5 professional contemporary artists, featuring the Ukrainian Ruslan Onishchenko, the Turkish creative photographer Elif Yesil Aktamis, the Spanish graphic artist José Navarro, the Russian illustrator Anton Gudim and the American painter Dorielle Caimi, who’s priding the cover.