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Work / Art

Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal firmly places classical painting in the now

A painter working in both traditional and digital media, Ignasi Monreal’s work piqued our attention because of its fascinating mix of contemporary and classical elements. With a nod to masters of the past through his impeccable technical skills, Ignasi’s work sits firmly in the now through the subjects he paints and the clients he works with.

“I don’t really remember,” responds Ignasi when asked how he first got started with the medium. “I started to paint very early on. I was just following my instinct.” This natural ability is evident throughout his portfolio, which elegantly balances controlled and free-form brush strokes to build up instantly recognisable studies of both people and places.

Ignasi’s balance of control and instinct stretches beyond his aesthetic and into the materials he works with, however. “I work in different media and each excites me in a different way,” he tells us, “oil painting is less controllable, and there is a certain charm of the unknown I enjoy very much.” Digital painting, on the other hand “has an amazing aspect of freedom,” he continues “with my iPad I can do it anywhere”.

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Ignasi Monreal: The Aziziye Camii mosque

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Ignasi Monreal: The Aziziye Camii mosque

Now based in Rome, Ignasi is Spanish and has also spent time living in London. As a result, he often uses painting as a way to explore a new – or remember a previous – home. Take, for example, his images of The Aziziye Camii mosque which he lived in front of when based in London. “I painted the building in different parts of the day to capture light change, inspired by Monet,” he explains. Inspiration from the likes of Monet is perhaps at the core of all his work, Ignasi adds: “I’ve been always genuinely inspired by the old masters, they feel very relevant and I want to make my work similarly adequate, with a timeless quality.”

It’s not just Ignasi’s personal work which deserves a mention though. The artist boasts an impressive client list which includes Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Four Season and JW Anderson. Each commission, although of course tailored to suit the brand and its aesthetic, features Ignasi’s signature style, a certain opulence and luxury – both in content and in the maximalist way he paints.

With these commissions now firmly under his belt, Ignasi is working his first solo show which opens in Madrid at the end of the month. Titled Plats Bruts it once again demonstrates Ignasi’s ability to channel personal experiences and memories onto canvas. The exhibition will feature a series of round paintings celebrating the social aspect that surrounds the culture of Mediterranean food. “Rome has really placed food at the centre of my life,” he explains. “You could say that my experience of the city has developed through eating – late night dinners, lavish house parties, or even finding my local everyday lunch spot. As the food here is absolutely delicious, it has really impacted my senses and it now constitutes a core of my Roman memory bank.” In turn, Plats Bruts captures precious moments “lived around the table, meals and new friendships” in Ignasi’s life for all to see.

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Ignasi Monreal: Plats Bruts

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Ignasi Monreal: Plats Bruts

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Ignasi Monreal: Four Seasons

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Ignasi Monreal: Four Seasons

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Ignasi Monreal: Gucci

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Ignasi Monreal: Gucci

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Ignasi Monreal: Gucci