All posts tagged: Spain

Michael Lundgren’s magical realities

“I’m not concerned with being an environmental photographer, I’m concerned with making images that make you feel something you can’t quite understand. There’s something that happens when you’re presented with what you can’t quite fathom.” In Matter, Michael Lundgren explores deserts in Spain, the US and Mexico but his landscapes are a departure from more traditional photographs in this field. He wants us to question the world around us and find a magical realism in life, death and our environment.

2017-08-11T11:08:19+00:00

Interview: Jesús Madriñán’s portraits of the party-goers

“Breaking onto a dance floor with a large format camera and a portable photography studio, as in my case, paralyses everything that happens,” says Jesús Madriñán, a Spanish photographer whose nightlife photos document the 21st century youth in different communities across the world. He is looking for an unique authenticity from his participants: “For me that’s really interesting: it gives them the opportunity to express themselves in front of the camera and in front of the eyes of the others.”

2017-08-01T13:36:37+00:00

Interview: Aurore Valade “The magic of photography is trying to capture a shifting reality”

For two months last April and May, Aurore Valade isolated herself in a remote village in the Haute-Bigorre region of France. The result? Her photography project Se Manifester, which has been awarded this year’s Photo Folio Review at the Rencontres d’Arles festival. “Etymologically, ‘to manifest’ is the action of making visible. I feel that could be a beautiful definition of photography too,” says Valade.

2017-07-18T14:39:41+00:00

Txema Salvans’ clandestine photos of sex workers waiting for clients on the side of Spanish highways

Txema Salvans’ book, The Waiting Game (published last year by RM), is a series of photographs of sex workers waiting for clients on the margins of highways in contemporary Spain. The images are both formal and astonishingly relaxed, and it is this mix that has impressed Martin Parr, who wrote the introduction to the book and nominated Salvans for our Ones to Watch issue in January 2014. A typical image shows a woman waiting for a client in the middle of a rural crossroads under a hazy, sun-seared sky. Orderly lines of trees stretch off on each side, but they are dusty, too, like the woman who stares straight down the road towards something we don’t see – the client. The places where the women sit play a major role but, like the client, the places where they perform their sex acts are missing. This absence gives the project much of its power – a prurient power, as is the nature of most projects on prostitution, but a power nonetheless. It’s the same power apparent in Mishka Henner’s No Man’s …

2015-08-24T11:59:37+00:00

The black-and-white nightmares of Arnau Blanch

With his stark black-and-white images, Spanish photographer Arnau Blanch takes us on a journey into the recesses of our minds. Projects such as Veneno and Fantasmas use photography to connect how we experience places with our subconscious. Veneno (‘Poison’) was shot between 2008 and 2014; it is set in the jungles of Colombia but, rather than photographing the lush foliage and spectacular canopies, Blanch examines a sinister landscape in which anything can — and does — happen. There are images of sex, weapons, the latent threat of violence; everything is shot bure bokeh, a style in which extremes of contrast echo the extremes of the subject matter. They look like sequences from a discomforting dream, one in which our secret obsessions are only partially disguised by the symbols of our unconscious. A graduate of Barcelona’s Institute d’Estudis Fotograpics de Catalunya, Blanch has also studied at New York’s ICP and was selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass in 2013. “I’ve been following Arnau’s work for a few years now since I saw his Veneno/Colombia work at a portfolio review,” …

2015-07-24T12:17:35+00:00

Spain’s lost generation of young women partying like there’s no tomorrow

“The project started in 2007 when the economic crisis started in Spain,” says Bree Zucker about Girlfriend, her project on the apocalyptic partying of a group of young recession-battered Spanish lesbians. “The project follows one group of women, this lost generation. They call them the ‘nini’ generation in Spain; ‘ni estudia, ni trabaja’ (not studying, not working). My specific interest is one circle of women, but in the larger context it’s about this lost generation of young women.” At a time when 26 per cent of the Spanish population was unemployed and 56 per cent of those under 24 without a job, this lost generation represented a ticking time bomb of frustration, boredom and anger for Spain. Many young Spaniards have emigrated to other European countries to escape the lack of opportunity. But for those without the skills, training or linguistic ability, there was another solution; to stay in Spain and party like there’s no tomorrow. This was the side of Spain that Zucker focused on after attaching herself to a charismatic young woman called Boli. “I met Boli …

2015-07-24T13:26:00+00:00

Miguel Ángel Tornero: “Photography is a living being”

In his series Photophobia, Madrid-based photographer Miguel Ángel Tornero draws a parallel between the photographic process and the photosynthesis of plants – both rely on light for their development, he points out, and both will eventually degrade and decompose. In this project photography is a “living being” for the 35-year-old, who incorporates faded found images, often from magazines, in his work. “I have always been attracted to these decadent images – damaged, poorly maintained and faded by the passage of time – that are usually found in hair salons, haberdasheries, bazaars and old businesses,” he explains. “The first works I did were collages featuring these images grouped around the patches of colour created by exposed photo paper – a material that is constantly changing and therefore alludes to the passing of time and the transience of life. The collages naturally had a three-dimensional shape so I’ve added other photosensitive and reflective materials to create photographic installations.” Taking these faded images and repurposing them, Tornero gives new life to what he calls a “contemporary aesthetic of …

2015-05-14T21:25:06+00:00

Bubi Canal's picture is on the cover of BJP's July issue

BJP #7826: The Spanish are Coming!

For our July issue, we’re heading for Spain. But don’t expect any straw donkeys or sun-and-sangria stereotypes. Instead we want to introduce you to an emerging ‘golden generation’ of photographers who have swiftly risen to international prominence, growing to maturity under the shadow of a worldwide recession that has gripped the Spanish more tightly than their Northern European cousins. Austerity has hit Spain hard and arts funding has vanished – yet young Spanish photographers are taking the world by storm. Ricardo Cases, Carlos Spottorno, Óscar Monzón, Aleix Plademunt, Julián Barón and – especially – Cristina de Middel have published highly acclaimed photobooks, leading Martin Parr to comment on a “new generation of Spanish photographers that has to be taken into account”. Yet they have all done so without the support of the Spanish photography establishment. Juan Peces, a Paris-based correspondent for El País, returned to his hometown of Madrid during the opening of PhotoEspaña to talk to some of the key photographers among this emerging generation, together with the curators, designers and publishers who have observed …

2015-04-23T18:39:44+00:00

BJP Staff