Strong Upper and Downer (Ignacio Uriarte)


As part of the series "if paintings talked" ("si los cuadros hablaran"), today we look at the work Strong Upper and Downer by Ignacio Uriarte. This piece is composed of 24 sheets of paper featuring a weave of typed elements which, as the spectator gets closer, can be recognised as percentage symbols. While the black ones follow an ascending trend, the red ones descend – in clear and direct reference to the stock markets, where red numbers usually represent losses.

In Ignacio Uriarte's work, in the words of Joanna Kleinberg, "the visual effects … are complex, but the language is plain: lines, colours and clean surfaces". In some cases, his works refer to the reflections of Op art, always with a pristine but manual execution, avoiding technical aids that would facilitate the outcome.

In this piece, once again, Uriarte takes the iconography of the business world and, once again, the measure of time is represented in each of those percentage signs that signify share prices, fixed observation points of a price.

  • Ignacio Uriarte

    Strong Upper and Downer (4 x 6 A3), 2013

    Typewriter ink on paper, 167 x 178.5 cm (24 sheets of paper)

    Banco de España Collection


The banking world is full of percentages (%). For example, APR is one of them: it is a percentage that indicates the profit we would obtain for depositing our money in an account or deposit, or the cost we would pay for asking for a loan or a mortgage. In the first case, the higher the APR, the higher the profit, and in the second case, the higher the APR, the higher the cost. Percentages can be very useful when it comes to managing our finances!

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