Cesar Iriarte, Mangawhai Heads Member Since September 2008 Artist Statement Cesar Iriarte is a conceptual artist working in the digital realm. His work unfolds in series composed of elaborate imagery that radiate from an overarching idea. His varied work pleases the eye and stimulates the senses while engaging the mind—simultaneously. At its core, his work intends to illuminate, by forging connections between the ordinary and the esoteric; and by exploring perception, metaphysics, and other abstract ideas not visible to the naked eye.
For some viewers, the complex ideas driving the work may be secondary to the sheer visual pleasure of the lively colors, dazzling geometric patterns, and subtle collages of organic imagery. But the work has an undeniably cerebral quality. “I think because the work operates on multiple levels, it also serves multiple functions,” he says. “My work is there for the mind and the eye.”
Cesar’s latest project is called “Search for Te Opuaraa” (SFTO). As in previous large-scale concepts of his, it is based around a central theme, “to follow your bliss be in the now”—per mythologist Joseph Campbell’s work. From this theme, a wealth of visual metaphors and sub-themes emerge. One of SFTOP’s series is called “Evolving Fractals, Waves & Patterns,” and includes more than a hundred images of the named phenomena—which are all individual representations of the central theme.
The idea for SFTO was inspired by Cesar’s love of surfing, which for him is no mere recreation, but the basis of a living cosmology. “‘To follow your bliss be in the now’ means paying attention to everything around you, and in everything, surfer that I am, I see waves,” he says. “The fractal parallels the pattern form, in that it’s a microcosm, or smaller version of a larger thing. Fractals and patterns—which visually, materially, are essentially waves—relate to human life in ways that are definitely not just symbolic.”
Another SFTO series called “Code Zero Space” alternates between abstraction and hyper-digital styles, and delves into the meaning of “be in the now.” As in Cesar’s previous works, each image within this series has the potency to satisfy on its own, while simultaneously underscoring the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Cesar is an aesthetic entrepreneur whose artwork is as industrious as it is idea-fueled and visually intricate. It’s no coincidence that digital technology figures prominently in his art—as an overt theme or subtext, and as a means of production.
Cesar operates well outside the commercial/institutional structures of the traditional art world, embracing the independence offered by a thriving network of like-minded artists and art-buyers. Architects, corporate art buyers, and interior designers have responded favorably to Cesar’s work, finding that it complements certain spaces dramatically. The technology that fuels his art has also made it quite versatile; most of his current work can be customized to accommodate most projects.