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According to his mother, Andres Garcia Ibanez (who henceforth for word count reasons will be referred to simply as, ‘Ibanez’) was painting before he could even walk; and had always dreamed of being an artist. Inspired by his grandfather, Ibanez’s elder family member was known as something of an artist in his native village, on account of him being both jack and master of all (creative) trades; from painting, gilding and carpentry, through to watchmaking, sculpting and engraving! Why he was even considered a half decent musician amongst the villagers, and was affectionately referred to as ‘Leonardo Da Vinci’. It was this seemingly talented man who was instrumental in a young Ibanez learning to paint; so much so, that by the tender age of just 13 he was recreating the likeness of Greco, Velazquez, Rembrandt and other great masters, under the artistic guidance of his grandfather.
Just three years later and as an accomplished 16-year old Ibanez had studied and successfully emulated every single painting by Goya, before deciding to originate and develop his own particular artistic style and expression during the following 12 months. In 1989, Ibanez’s work began catching the Spanish public’s eye and imagination, as he started to exhibit his work, including several group showcasings across Spain. In the same year, Ibanez also bagged the prestigious, ‘Jovenes Pintores Andaluces’ award (Young Andalusian Painters) to effectively seal his emergence as a contemporary art force to be reckoned with on the bigger stage.
As part of his continued journey and long-term plans, Ibanez took it upon himself to study, whilst continuing to paint in his spare time. Of course his paintings still placed great emphasis on the relevance and influence of the great masters, in the collective works of whom he was so fascinated. In terms of his studies however, Ibanez elected to complete a degree in Town Architecture, a qualification which he graduated with in 1996. From that point onwards, Ibanez’s work has formed an integral part and focus of in excess of 20 group exhibitions across his Spanish homeland, whilst he’s enjoyed accumulative successes in the guise of over 30 one-man shows, hosted Europe-wide. What’s more, in 1991 Ibanez witnessed his first publication being released, with his well-received, ‘Hablando de Goya: Apariciones y Descubujos’, furnishing fans of the 18th Century Spanish masters with a title packed with critical analysis of the subject matter.
During his career to date Ibanez has been fortunate enough to have contributed his acclaimed artistic imprint on a number of religious establishments, including in 1993, being invited to produce a painting for St Peter’s Basilica in Rome; which to many would serve as the pinnacle of their artistic career. Instead this acted as the catalyst for further great works of religious-derived art and cross-denominational praise and subsequent recognition, as Ibanez went from strength to strength in this field and genre. Indeed, in the same year in which he fulfilled his St Peter’s Basilica brief, he also enjoyed the official inauguration of the Vault of the Chapel of the Esperanza in Malaga. Two years on from that, and Ibanez was approached to submit his first painting for the Cathedral of San Salvador. We say the first, because after he completed ‘The Crucifixion’, over a period of time Ibanez produced some seven additional compositional pieces which were duly commissioned by the cathedral in 1996. What’s more, Ibanez created an alterpiece for the San Salvador Cathedral as well as eight paintings for the Basilica de la Merced in Madrid in 1997.
Arguably one of Ibanez’s most prestigious commissions to date was that presented to him by the Republic of El Salvador in Central America, who invited him to paint a vault of the Cathedral, amounting to a surface area of approximately 1,000 square metres, and incorporating ‘The Salvation of the World’ in its highly illustrative midst. Over the years, Ibanez has been handed many prizes, accolades and honours for his art and his charitable work; not least when he received the National Medal from UNICEF in recognition of his charity endeavours in 1999.
Ibanez’s individual compositions and series’ are housed in countless private collections across the globe.