Josu Larrea uses graphic design as a tool to understand gender, space and identity
From his artistic childhood to the underground queer clubs of Barcelona, Josu's exceptional talent comes from every aspect of his life.
- Joey Levenson
- 27 February 2023
Basque graphic and motion designer Josu Larrea has an aesthetic that’s hard to pin down, and for good reason. Every piece in Josu’s portfolio feels fully realised and incredibly fresh and exciting. For such a young talent, Josu’s work is already outpacing while honouring his peers. Raised in an artistic household, it wasn’t until Josu moved to Barcelona that he really felt the need to create and finally enrolled at BAU Design College of Barcelona. “I started my education on design but I felt really lost for the first two years,” he explains to It’s Nice That. “However, in my last year at uni I immersed myself in Barcelona’s queer and techno spheres, and weekends turned into a big knowledge absorbing time and I slowly began to shape my practice more assertively.”
This change in confidence and self-growth really shines through in Josu’s work. “I like to think that I take my work as a space to explore all the things that I was not able to approach as a queer kid in the Basque coast,” he says. “I am very intrigued by using design as a tool to understand all kinds of subjects such as gender, spaces and how identities are built around them.” After working with a peer on his final year project, Josu graduated and has set his sights on learning more digital methodologies as he interns at the “empathetic, odd and queer creative studio” Gina Guasch Team in Barcelona.
Josu Larrea: Open Works (book) (Copyright © Josu Larrea, 2023)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. He was part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.