|« previous | blog | next »|
February 3, 2012
© Juan Manuel Castro Prieto / Galerie VU'
Now we see Ethiopia through Spanish eyes and the virtuoso large-format tilt-shift compositions of Juan Manuel Castro Prieto. On show currently at Galerie VU' in Paris, his photos are like metaphor-soaked visions from mysterious dreams. Almost surreal in their vividness of color, highly-selective focus, and unusually sharp details — his mural-size images seem immediately like long-forgotten memories with which one yearns to linger and to imagine the story of what happened just before and just after these moments were captured as memories on film.
He started in the 1970s as a self-taught enthusiast. Influenced by Gabriel Cualladó and Paco Gómez, whom he met at the Real Sociedad Fotográfica of Madrid, Castro Prieto makes a distinction between photography as a window onto reality, and photography as a mirror in which the author — with all his obsessions, memories and imagination fed by myths and literature — is reflected in what he portrays. Thus, for Castro Prieto, photography is a tool for connecting to the world, on his terms, and “an excuse for a philosophy of life” (interview with Alejandro Castellote, 2003).
In Ethiopia, on several extended visits between 2001 and 2006, he found "an ancestral memory of humanity" that "converses with the objects, signs and behaviors of the modern world."