“It was a moment where I could step out of my ordinary and rather boring existence, and shape it into something different,” says Federico Clavarino, who’s photographs from his foundational years at Blank Paper in Madrid are now published as a book
Originally trained as a journalist, Barcelona-born Laia Abril expanded her storytelling methods after studying at New York’s ICP. She is best-known for the first chapter of her long-term project A History of Misogyny, On Abortion, which recently won the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook of the Year Award and has been shortlisted for the 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize
Although it is Spanish photographer Sole Satana’s latest body of work, From a Bad Place was conceived several years ago, during a difficult time when she was struggling with anxiety and depression.
Closely related to her personal life, Satana’s photography tells a very subjective story about her take on everyday life. Her images will be on show at the Centro Parraga in Murcia, Spain, as part of a collaborative project between the gallery and collective UnderPhoto. Now in its second edition, the project aims to bring together emerging creators who offer a “deeply personal representation of reality”.
From a Bad Place will be exhibited alongside photography from Satana’s partner in life and work JD Valiente, a BJP One to Watch this year. The couple met when they were teenagers and have been together for 14 years. They often now collaborate on joint projects, such as the story Dead Meat, but this show, titled Parentésis, is made up of two solo series.
After the economic crisis in Argentina in 2002, Sebastián Bruno’s family moved to a small town in Castilla La Mancha in central Spain. It was then that the photographer decided to re-read Don Quixote, the iconic 17th-century novel about a traveller who slowly converts from hero to bandit. The tale was foremost in Bruno’s mind when he returned to the region years later to retrace the 2500km route of the fictional legend, while studying for a BA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales in Newport.
“I thought it was a beautiful metaphor to re-interpret,” he says. “I was walking, cycling and hitchhiking, but no one ever really stopped. The landscape was very flat, the sun was hot and there was not a single tree to hide under.”
Emerging Spanish photographers JD Valiente and Sole Satana headed to Semana Porcina in Lorca, to shoot a project they called Fiambre, “dead body”, on the pork products and pigs that they found there
“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.
“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.”
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.
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 …
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,” …