Born in northwest Spain, Óscar Raña went on to study a BFA and master’s in book illustration and animation at Universidad de Vigo, in his local city of Pontevedra. Focusing primarily on geometric elements, his work is often wonderfully simple and laid out in comic book fashion.
Deeply contemplating each piece, Óscar says he constantly questions the rules of comics as he draws. “I play with the composition of the illustration and the relationships that occur among its elements,” he tells It’s Nice That. “I look at the interactions between chromatic colours, equilibrium, tensions and volume.” It’s a level of rumination that turns his process from mere sketching and colouring into near enough scientific experimentation.
Speaking on this interest in conceptual, geometric illustration, Óscar says it began during his time at university while studying artistic techniques and theory: “I took an interest in geometry while discovering colour field and minimalist painting,” he tells It’s Nice That. “Geometry and formalistic harmony go hand in hand and that’s very important to me.”
It’s no surprise then, that the artists who influence on his work are figures such as Frank Stella and Sadamasa Motonaga – both abstract painters who created deeply cerebral works. And abstraction features heavily in Óscar’s practice too, which he uses to achieve ambiguity and “suggest, evoke and stimulate rather than transmit perfectly focused and readable information”. This, he says, invites the viewer to "reflect on the image and its content, as well as on its limits and its relation to contemporary art.”
With an ambitious year ahead, Óscar explains that he’s going to be self-publishing several zines, collaborating on a new project with Fosfatina Ed, making several works for Apa Apa Comics and attending various comic festivals around Europe.
- Anti-Gone is a mixed reality performance set in a post-climate change world
- Claire Huss’ branding for WUTI displays creative women as “wild and bold”
- Laura Coombs presents her Bookshelf, and it’s all about attention to materiality
- Arghavan Khosravi on her fruitful yet uncertain journey as an Iranian painter
- Samuel Bas contrasts creepy with cute in his vibrant illustrations
- Nikita Dembinski captures Bucharest’s elderly community for Kajet’s latest issue
- “All you see is lazy photography everywhere”: Martin Parr discusses his career, Brexit and obsession
- The work of Xiangyu Liu is weird and fantastically unpredictable (some NSFW)
- Caterina Bianchini Studio designs a dog-themed identity for a conveyer belt cheese restaurant
- Ikea invites people to “try on” Virgil Abloh furniture collection at LFW
- Hans Findling on his experimental and multidisciplinary approach to design
- Introducing the It’s Nice That Graduates of 2019!