"Vicente's paintings and sculptures
seem precious gems he digs out in silence
from the hidden garden of God.
In a sense he is a miner. In another sense
a conquistador. His fingers, like ripened grapes,
forcefully endowed with fertility. When he works,
the clay in his hands becomes full of transparent
shades and white, and time stands still."
Basque artist par excellence
Vicente Jáuregui Presa was born in Bilbao in 1961. He went to grade school at El Salvador school and attended Gaztelueta College in Bilbao, where he finished high school. He obtained his degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country. As a student at El Salvador, he won a school competition with a poster he created about hunger and exhibited twice in Gaztelueta in Las Arenas, Vizcaya.
His early years as an artist saw him doing private commissions and a mural. At the beginning of his studies in Fine Arts, he took part in various collective exhibitions and competitions with other local artists at such Bilbao venues as the CAMB Cultural Centre and the Tango Gallery. Then one of his posters was chosen for the Bilbao Fine Arts celebration. During the summer of 1976 he began a French course at the University of Caen in Normandy. In the summer of 1979 he stayed in the UK for a brief period of time. To get by, he worked at W.U.S Priory Farm Camp in Visbech, Cambridgeshire with other foreign students.
In Paris and London he was introduced to the last European Art Movement as well as to great art pieces from the Classical and Post-Impressionist periods. In the '80s, Vicente returned to Paris and directly sold his works, mostly collages, on the streets at the Place Beaubourg. He even had an offer for a collective exhibition at Claude-Joey Gallery, but he wasn’t able to self-finance it. In the same period, he created a poster announcing Aste Nagusia, the major summer festival in Bilbao, a poster that was shown in La Sala de la CAV in the Gran Via in Bilbao.
Vicente has participated in various open-air, poster and painting competitions. In 1983 he exhibited one piece at the Consulado de Bilbao and took part in the II Plastic Arts competition in Villa de Bilbao with a sculpture in polychrome.
During that same year he also exhibited various sculptures and paintings in Totem Bar in the Port in Santa Maria, Cadiz, Spain. The very same bar acquired two of his sculptures in polychrome, which still remain there today. For the bar, he also created a mural.
In an exhibition held as a homage to American architect, painter and sculptor Tony Smith at the iconic Achuri train station in Bilbao, the great Basque artist Jorge Oteiza praised Vicente’s portrait of Smith in concrete. Since 1984, Vicente has worked with clay sculptures and oil paintings. Vicente's early works have found a permanent home in Galeria de Arte Llamas in Bilbao (top photo).