[Ignacio Uriarte: Four different monochrome panels made by using four different brands of fountain pen ink etc.]
I came across Berlin-based artist Ignacio Uriarte’s work at Art Basel and quickly became fascinated by the story behind the work and the artist. Before quitting his day job to become a full-time artist Uriarte worked in business administration, but his transition into art did not veer to far from his daily regimen. Instead he reconfigured the mundane rhythms of administrative activity into what he calls “Office Art”. Using only tools such as Bic pens, highlighters, inkjets printers, typewriters and other things you may find in an office he creates conceptual works of monotony.
His pieces work for me because they are both beautiful in a zen-minimalist sort of way, yet the fact that they’re made from using cheap, ordianry, mundane office supplies makes them rather subversive, quirky and ironic. But you wouldn’t get that from across the room; you’d need to look up close to see the joke.
It sort of reminds me of a Chicago artist I vaguely remember back in the 1990s who, bored from his dayb job as an office temp, did a gallery show of nothing but the Post-It Note doodles he had made at his desk at work. And he had made hundreds of them.
Our friend Herr Uriarte has taken the joke to an extreme, which what makes it interesting to me.
[N.B. I'm on the lookout for more interesting stuff like this. Feel free to email me any other bits of worthwhile "Office Art" you may come across, Thanks!]