Inaraja Automatic brAutomatic drawings (2018-2022)
Exhibition by Christian Inaraja
28.01 - 12.03.2022

The exhibition opens on Friday, January 28th at 7 p.m. 

Illustration: Automàtic Copic Circus (2018)

Christian Inaraja’s work is that of an artist who does not resign himself to the mere servitude of the illustrator, not even when he really must illustrate what someone else has imagined and written. When this is the case, however, he prefers to use the text as a starting point from which to invent what this verbal stimulus suggests to him, the same as any visual, auditory, or intellectual stimulus might. Thus, the illustrator ceases to be someone who draws chained to the text to become a visual artist who accompanies another artist, in the verbal field, on the same itinerary.

Inaraja is an artist who draws on the long tradition of "ninotaires" (caricaturists), one which shines especially brightly in our country, but who strips his figurative drawings of the utilitarian function of the traditional caricature to give them their own essence that renders them independent of any external context. It is this hard-won freedom that allows him to embark on any form of experimentation, even when he is required to illustrate a text; automatic drawing, for example, executed without the rational premeditation of the traditional illustrator. In this case, it is a profound understanding of technique which enables the artist to execute an aesthetically impeccable creation without the obstruction of intellectual reason.

Inaraja's experimentation is reminiscent of that of the French writers of the OULIPO (Ouvroir de littérature potentiielle), who imposed unusually difficult obstacles upon themselves to stimulate the imagination, such as those of the artist who challenged himself to draw using the opposite hand to that which he normally used, in order to discover hitherto unknown potentialities that he himself knew were hidden.

Inaraja reminds us that technique without imagination is as sterile as imagination without technique.

Miquel Desclot

Christian Inaraja y Genís (Vic, 1972). He has illustrated more than a hundred books, published by major publishers and translated into many languages, as well as having contributed drawings regularly to numerous periodicals, especially children's and/or youth-orientated. In addition to books, he has also illustrated posters, advertising and packaging materials, and press articles, among a wide range of venues. Recent awards include the National Award for Best Edited Book (2019), Compostela International Prize for Illustrated Book (2018), the City of Benicarló International Prize for Illustrated Book (2020), Junceda Awards (2013), and was awarded the VEGAP Proposals grant in 2013. In the field of cinema, he has been co-director of the Reus FEC Festival’s European Short Film Festival since its inception. He is currently teaching Illustration at the ILLA School of Art in Sabadell. He has also been vice-president of the Professional Association of Illustrators of Catalonia - APIC (2005-2012), a member of the executive committee of the Catalan Council for Children's and Young People's Books - CLIJCat (2005-2012), and Head of Department of Illustration at the ILLA School of Art (2000-2017).

Inaraja GaleriaCelebritats br