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.
- Lucia Sekerkova documents the rituals of Romania’s social media savvy witches
- Charlie Roberts' paintings are inspired by hip-hop culture, sports and screenplays
- In Whispering Blooms Jack Orton documents the eerie perfection of the town of Poundbury
- Studio Nuno Fontes on its clean and ordered work for the cultural sector
- Darren Shaddick illustrates his version of “the ultimate cool person”
- Team Thursday's Bookshelf is full of souvenirs, zines and exhibition catalogues
- Pornhub decides to try out beesexuality with new awareness campaign
- “The time just feels right”: Stuart Brumfitt and Mirko Borsche, editor and designer of The Face, on its relaunch
- The Washington Post's climate change issue features 24 equally important covers
- Philip Gerald's lowbrow, crude paintings are a reflection of his views on the art world
- We take a look back at the best stories of the year to date
- The US government releases its first bespoke typeface: Public Sans