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Joseba Sánchez Zabaleta

Cisterna (León), 1969
Estantes, oil on wood, 30 × 30 cm

About the artist

Writer Pilar Ruiz states about Joseba Sánchez Zabaleta:

«He is the poet of the suburbs and periphery, of the men and women who have fallen into oblivion. They are the residues of the exile from the countryside to the city, the memory of the loss. Likewise, Pasolini knew that among the decayed and the abandoned emerges an image that, like a seed, is the promise of transformation and hope.

»JSZ turns the ruins into the object of his painting passion. Like the Italian poet and filmmaker’s production, his artwork is a song of infinite love to the inhabitants of a desolate world.  Like the snail’s trace, the human trace leaves a bright track on the ruins, covering everyday discarded objects: tiles, bricks, pyrex glasses, stainless steel cutlery, plastic, pewter. Here too, is found the periphery of the slums, of the rubbish heap: of everything we leave behind when we depart.

»The veil of time made of abandonment, wear and rust acquires an unusual poetical dimension in JSZ’s hands. He forces us to observe the miniscule and ordinary with a new gaze, the humble spoon or plate, those things which we never see in our everyday rush. By doing so, new images are emerging, revealed as they would come from a dark room or waking from a dream. Then we discover the real existence hidden in the objects and in the landscapes, like matter torn away from the soul. This tension reminds us of the classic form of art, as ancient as the Altamira’s buffalos and the Greek marbles, full of the fierce human desire of capturing the instant and with it life.

»JSZ’s creations illuminate that world with a new light, the light that is cast on our actions, thoughts and ideas. It is the same that illuminates modest objects like a simple spoon which may contain all the hunger and all sustenance. The existence.

»Raise the veil of life on ordinary objects and look around again, says JSZ. You will find those small things from which springs the human gasp, the full sense of life’s adventure which can only be conveyed by poetry».

JSZ studied in San Sebastian and Zaragoza, however he considers himself self-taught as his painting comes from his experience. He has exhibited in many galleries across Spain, mainly in Madrid. He has also participated in important institutional shows and has received many awards.

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Margaritas, oil on wood, 140 × 122 cm
Pila, oil on wood, 38 × 46 cm
Jaume Roure Jordi Sardà
List of artists