Mariano Pascual’s latest series looks at the “packed and messy” life in lockdown
As the world has gone indoors so has Mariano. The Lockdown is a series that, unsurprisingly, comes from his time spent in self-isolation but viewed through a surrealist set of eyes.
- Harry Bennett
- 9 April 2020
“The Lockdown aims to represent a surreal approach to the isolation,” Barcelona-based illustrator Mariano Pascual tells us, “through scenes that portray some of my feelings during these crazy times trapped at home.” In a pessimistic change of pace for Mariano, he explains that these situations are more than representative of the current global state, or the unkempt rooms in his house, but “are closer to the rooms of my mind.”
In his depiction of saturated “overloaded scenes, full of symbols, packed and messy, with a lot of clustered objects,” Mariano explores the “bittersweet sensation” and sense of irony felt in capturing the chaos both internally and externally, how the personal becomes a microcosm representative of the current global mood.
“At the same time,” Mariano adds “these fictional spaces of a home with everyday objects are represented with sarcasm.” Through a style transient of location, time and reality, he hopes that these scenes “could be anywhere or any home around the world, or also inside any mind.” The anarchic scenes depicted by Mariano are as intriguing as they are confusing. The contrasts made between wonderfully colourful tones and gross, uncomfortable imagery scattered in domestic settings make us unsure of how we are supposed to feel. By putting us in limbo, in a state of indecisiveness, we are exactly where Mariano wants us to be.
Lockdown has given Mariano “a new way to see” his practice, by providing a different perspective on his work and the world. In this series, we find Mariano has somewhat adapted his style away from the abstract towards more “representative, figurative elements and everyday objects.” He constructs scenes that make us feel caged in, with prison-like bars on the windows, scenes that make us feel nostalgic for what the world was like before lockdown, with references to family photographs, and scenes that make us feel nervous, by giving prominence to germs, goo and viruses.
He tells us: “I feel that the confinement now is physical, but our mind, our creativity, our thoughts and our feelings are still free to go wherever they want.” He explains that creating these scenes has helped alleviate the pressure of the current situation, taking him to another place. Where this place is, we aren’t sure, but Mariano assures us that wherever it is, this series “is also an invitation.”
GalleryMariano Pascual: The Lockdown
About the Author
Hailing from the West Midlands, and having originally joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020, Harry is a freelance writer and designer – running his own independent practice, as well as being one-half of the Studio Ground Floor.