Eduardo Navarro – “The digital world is a lie, but so is the real world”
Words: Nuria Cortés
Translation: Katy Hastings
Photography: Norbert Tölle
September 25, 2023
When he talks about the Ibiza he likes, Eduardo Navarro concentrates his gaze on a single enclave, one that, although it represents the island, is not on it: Es Vedrà. The islet, that is on his horizon, symbolises the individual and the artist, the summer vacations with his parents and the fascinating forms of nature that inspire his creations. Intimacy and exhibition in the same territory. After his first winter on the island, this Valencian artist who has spent the last 20 years in Munich has decided to take up residence in Ibiza and set up his studio here, “thanks to the interesting artistic and commercial collaborations existing on the island, very attractive for digital art”.
The pictures painted by his mother and one of the beautiful light sculptures designed by him contextualise the physical and creative space in which Eduardo Navarro moves today: “I inherited my mother’s stylistic sensitivity, but I acquired my passion for design during my master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London, where I discovered the work of the brilliant Ingo Maurer and had Ron Arad as my project manager”. Analog and digital form the basis of his work since he imagined The Fishbowl, his first generative art installation, which was exhibited in Tokyo at Issey Misake’s MDS Gallery. Miami, Brussels, New York, Barcelona, Munich and Valencia are other cities where Eduardo has exhibited a neat and coherent work that does not abandon the constant dialogue that the artist maintains between the natural and the artificial world, between the established and the random.
The duality that marks the universe of his work translates into the preferential use of black and white, “ideal colours to highlight the organic structures that inspire me and achieve depths with a 3D effect”. Bones, skulls, corals, roots, sea waves, cells, irises, shells, leaves, flowers and even famous works of art evolve through digital techniques until they become a new and poetic visual object, whether a static image or a video. “In recent years I have focused on the production and marketing of NFT art, sound design and VJ shows. Now, in addition, I am recovering the facet of industrial designer to resume my project of light sculptures, a work that gave me a lot of joy. I think that everything fits well on the island, both for collectors as well as for hotels, restaurants and clubs.”
Enthusiastic about the new stage, Eduardo Navarro finds in Ibiza a scenario in line with his creativity, thanks to the strong presence of the natural. The sunsets, the moonsets, the eternal sea horizon and the stony landscape of the cliffs have accompanied the artist during his first winter on the island, “quite an experience after so many summers. These months I have rediscovered the north, which I hardly knew, and I have been able to see that there are more imaginative people here than in Munich. That city expels the artist, everything is very snobbish, but here I am finding people with a similar sensitivity to mine.” That Ibiza, the creative and leisurely, is what nourishes Navarro personally and artistically: “I have never been interested in discos; our summer house has always been for me like a monastery where I recharge my batteries. Now, it has also become my workshop. The only thing I regret is that every year there is less and less of the Ibiza of yesteryear and it is increasingly difficult for me to find the usual beach bars. What doesn’t change is my relationship with Es Vedrà: after so many years, it still amazes me to discover the profile of this rock looming behind a curve or looking imposing in front of the coast”.
The salt flats in winter, Cala Escondida and the Can Cristófol organic farm are some of the enclaves that dot the map of Eduardo’s new biography in Ibiza, an island whose name turned hashtag results in more than 19 million images and videos on Instagram: “We live in a very visual world and the experience itself has lost value. Photographs are accumulated, but not enjoyed. Young people only watch the last five minutes of a soccer match. How will the TikTok generation enjoy art? The digital world is a lie, but so is the real world” And again, duality. A bridge that the artist crosses again and again. Like the art business itself: “The analog work is closer to our enjoyment because we have yet to incorporate digital frames to our walls, but the NFTs provide the artist with a new right unimaginable before; to be able to collect a royalty in each of the future transactions of the work sold”. The artificial nurturing the organic. And vice versa.