Ibizan artist Pep Monerris aka Bagaix created evocative advertising posters for legendary Ibiza nightclubs such as KU and Space. Today he is one of Ibiza’s most intriguing contemporary artists, working with iron, earth, sand, electronic elements, and other materials.
If you’re fascinated by the Ibiza club scene of the 1980s and 90s, which gave birth to Balearic music as we know it today, Bagaix’s posters are very much part of the mix. His work has a futuristic Mediterranean warmth to it that fits with how the music evolved by blending organic funk, soul and soft hippyish rock with electronic elements from disco and Kraftwerk to house.
Bagaix created the iconic logo for Space, used until the club, which epitomised Ibiza nightlife for many, closed in 2016. Alongside his Ibiza posters, Bagaix also made posters for Tito’s and BCM in Mallorca and Camelot and Publik in Alicante.
Bagaix was born on Ibiza in 1960 and witnessed its evolution into a mecca for hedonists with a spiritual bent. Or, indeed, mystics with a taste for hedonism.
His nickname Bagaix, he tells me, ‘is due to the fact that the first tourists who arrived at the port of Ibiza left their luggage, “le bagage” in French, in a bar in the port owned by my family. It’s now the Zoo Bar.’
Can you get any more Ibizan than that?
Trained as a graphic designer, Bagaix began making art for the clubs around 1984. His posters became emblematic of Ibiza at that time. ‘I was influenced by Yves Uro who’s hugely important in the story of Ibiza club art and who made posters for KU. Roger Dean, famous for his artwork for prog rock bands such as Yes, was also a big influence,’ he tells me.
Bagaix was keen to communicate the spirit of those remarkable times in Ibiza through his art. He’s not at all surprised that those golden years have become legendary. ‘It was a very creative and fun time,’ he says. ‘It was much less crowded with people, more friendly and human.’
Today’s club posters don’t impress Bagaix. ‘I’m very disconnected from the scene,’ he explains. ‘But what I usually see is a type of informative poster without personality or a strong aesthetic. They don’t take advantage of what you can do with the amazingly sophisticated design programs that exist.’
In 2023, Bagaix is one of Ibiza’s most interesting fine artists. ‘My work is very free and personal,’ he says, ‘not influenced by commercial trends. Electronics and science fiction are my main themes.’
Bagaix’s first one-man show was at Galaria UNI in San Antonio in 2000. Since then, he has exhibited in most of Ibiza’s art galleries. He’s currently exhibiting at Can Tixedo Art Café between Santa Gertrudis and San Antonio. A great reason to check out this excellent venue.
Similar to how a sense of utopian possibility was an important aspect of the music in the beginning, Bagaix makes series’ of artworks that draw on ‘electronics and science fiction to reflect the present day and an imagined future’.
Although Bagaix’s work is clearly very different from that which he made in the golden era of Ibiza’s clubs, and although he might not agree with me, I’d like to think it’s thematically rather consistent. His use of organic materials such as earth, sand and iron mixed with electronics echoes the way in which music made by humans and machines blended to create the classic Balearic sound.