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Photography

  • All the cats are grey at night

    I love the night. Night is not about darkness, on the contrary, it is about light and about contrasts. The lights in the city shine as if they were stars. This otherworldy atmosphere is proper to dreams.


    Manhattan night view from Brooklyn . 2010


    Life seems more intense at night. A dull landscape during the day might be full of drama during the night. 

    Brassaï, one of my favourite photographers who was active in the 1930s in Paris, protrayed the city of light during the night. 

    A famous French saying about the night is “During the night, all cats are grey”. The night is perfect to do things that need discretion and you would not do during the day. He actually spent two years and then many nights to tame the nocturnal animals of Paris. 


    From left to right: Gang . 1932 | Avenue de l'Observatoire . 1932 | Prostitute . 1930

    As Diane Arbus said

    "Recently I was amazed how much I like what we do not see in a picture. Darkness has a physical presence of its own."

    The night in Paris keeps on inspiring artists and brands, like Van Cleef & Arpels which launched a male fragrance called Midnight in Paris pour homme and of course, we cannot forget the movie Midnight in Paris from director Woody Allen. 



    Let's experience the night any time in the future with an artistic eye. Another world is expecting you!

  • Prisoner of the comfort zone

    Her name is Gwendoline. She inherited from her Welch ancestors the taste for danger. But like it was the case for the majority of women of her generation, her life went on another track. 

    She got married at 18 with the son of the neighbour’s next door. Oh, he was quite a nice man but she never ever dreamt of such a respectable life.

    As a little girl, she imagined herself exploring wild lands like Deborah Kerr in King Salomon’s Mines movie. How amazing it should be to face the danger and feel the adrenaline throughout the body.

    In the new suburb where they are living now, the wildest animal she has ever bumped into is the cat of her friend Rosie, who from time to time surreptitiously enters into the house to steal some food. There is no wilderness in her daily routine: three kids to educate, a husband to please, and little room for thinking of being herself.

    While visiting her hairdresser on Saturday earlier this month, like she does every week for refreshing her hairdo, she came upon the advertising of a perfume in the latest edition of Harper’s Bazaar. The ad said “Depend upon it – for anything”. Tabu, the “forbidden” perfume by Dana.

    Photographer: Lilian Bassman . 1950

    Her first reaction was to cry, but she quickly refrained to show her emotions in public. She realised that she forgot during all these years that everything was possible if you are ready to risk yourself out of the comfort zone. 

    It was settled. She would take the bus at the first occasion to go to the city. She might find any good excuse to justify it to John, her husband, and she will visit a perfumery.

    It is a strange thing that new opportunities arose when you decide any little change in your life. On Thursday three weeks later, she exited the house in the early morning and jumped onto the bus. She was light-hearted and she felt she could conquer the world that day. She sat at the rear of the bus close to the window, and her imagination ran fast during the ride, in such a way that she almost missed the bus stop. 

    Once outside, she ventured into this part of the city she likes, made of curvy and shady streets. At a glimpse, she recognised him, he was there on the opposite pavement. They did not say anything to each other. Words were unnecessary. But they intensely looked at each other. The sun that hardly broke through the street bathed their faces with its warm light. After this fleeting moment that seemed to last minutes, they both continued on their ways.

    Will they see each other again?

  • Storytelling for a better living

    A storyteller is how I like to define myself whatever the medium I use: photography, fragrances or marketing.

    Recently I made a significant discovery surfing on the web that pushed me to the next level when I first read the word storylogue. Storylogue, I could not imagine such a word existed until I got to know Robert McKee. He is the kind of person you listen to carefully since each and every one of his words have such a deep meaning.

    Why do I write stories? Why do we all love stories? To my first question his answer is: 

    “A storyteller is a life poet”

    We tell stories about real life, or dreamt life. I personally stage an idealised life in my pictures, but many brands tell stories today too.

    So, what do we learn from this fictional version? To comprehend the present, maybe.

    “We are not taught to live (…)”

    For artists, life is a clue we try to understand. Art is our means of expression and a learning tool about who we are. It is a way to balance the inner chaos and to restore harmony. The philosopher Nietszche said:

    “No artist tolerates reality” 

    Reality does not attract me as an artist. I stage it. I transform it to absorb it into my dreamy world, to control it.

    Life is a question mark for all of us. “Why we are here? What is the sense of life?”. Robert McKee analyses that philosophy, art, science and theology, the four wisdoms, they have tried since ancient times to give answers to these existential questions.  But what is the situation today?

    Let’s start with philosophy. We can say that today philosophy is not at its best. There are less and less people reading books, and reading philosophy books, even less. In Paris, I recently attended The Creative Journey conference organised by Nelly Rodi, a renowned trend agency. The first speaker of the day was the philosopher Gaspard Koenig. His allocution was about luxury, and I must say, it was very interesting to put some perspective to the short-term vision, the instantaneity of our society.

    The second wisdom Art questions reality, puts it upside down, rejects it, transforms it, and reinvents it. Art is freedom. You put limits if you wish to. You are the one to decide.  Until recently, I believed that it was a means for me to escape from reality, but after listening to Robert McKee, maybe it is totally the contrary, and maybe it is to live more intensely.

    And what about Science? Everyday we learn more about our species thanks to science. Recently I read an article on a Chinese investigation about Alpha men. Yes, science has the answer. They actually found that in mice Alpha male characteristics have to do with genetics. The myth of Prince Charming is falling apart! Science is also staged in marketing campaigns to connect deeply with the audience. There is a wonderful example with Momondo, a travel search website as the company describes itself, in which they use science to sell more trips. 

    Do you really know yourself? Momondo campaign revealing ancestry DNA to volonteers . 2016

    And finally, Theology. Less and less people believe today, this is a fact. It seems this is no longer the space where we look for answers. But despite the fact, we see more and more brands using mysticism and spirituality to market products and particularly in the beauty and fragrance markets. The most recent example is a campaign by Paco Rabanne to promote the latest male fragrance release Pure XS. It presents a modernised version of Adam, the original Alpha male. When the video ends, we imagine each and every Eve will eat the apple at a moment or another.



    Pure XS by Paco Rabanne . New campaign released in July 2017

    To summarise, in our daily routine, we hardly open a book however we read a lot through social media, less and less people practice religion, and science is still seen as elitist, with no immediate answer to our questions.

    In the entertainment way of life we are immersed today, Art and its storytelling character seem to be the medium where the most of us try to get answers to our questions. As Robert McKee says:

    “Stories equip us for living”

    Today we go to the cinema, or watch a movie at home to understand our story and ourselves. They make us experience alternative lives by proxy.

    But stories are everywhere, not only in movies. They are in photography too, and they are in brands. What consumers are looking for today are brands that deliver meaning and not only products.

    What is the story you are going to tell to engage your customers tomorrow?

  • Belle Epoque Series: Beauty and Mystery

    Belle Epoque is the name of an ongoing Art Nouveau photo series I started in 2015.

    This project has brought me so far to photograph houses, apartments and even museums in Paris (France), in Cartagena and Murcia (Spain) and La Habana (Cuba).



    When I started with the series, it was not really clear to me how I would express the emotions I feel about The Belle Epoque and Art Nouveau in pictures. The more I got access to places, the more I realised I was actually attracted to the details.

    Being in these buildings was like going back in time.

    “The premises of Art Nouveau, also considered as a new form of romanticism, were the search of beauty and of a certain spirituality. (…) Art Nouveau poets and painters evoked remote worlds, fairytales, velvety sceneries where everything happens in a musical atmosphere and where nature is immersed in mystery. Art Nouveau is the territory of the line, the curve and the straight line. A calligraphic sense inherited from Japonism that shrouds with lines, pieces of furniture and buildings” (1)

    And this is exactly what I was looking for when taking a closer look at the intricate designs of staircases, doors, windows, etc. I was trying to recreate beauty and mystery, and to reach a certain abstraction of the curves and lines.

    In Cuba, I had the opportunity to stay in a colonial house built in 1895 by a Spaniard who migrated to La Habana.  And in Paris, I was given access to photograph the Art Nouveau museum of designer Pierre Cardin, which is open to the public in Rue Royale, and housed in Maxim’s building. 

    The pictures of the series is now on sale at my Etsy shop Images with a story. They are available in open and limited editions.

     

    (1) Extract from the book “Cartagena 1874-1936 (Transformación urbana y arquitectura)” by F. Javier Pérez Rojas . 1986

  • Blue, the colour of creativity

    Maria Grazia Chiuri is the first woman to be the creative director at Dior. And we have seen the impact of her feminine vision of women since her first collection in which she included messages on the clothes like “We shall all be feminists”.

    For Fall-Winter 2017-18, she continues with women empowerment, with an entire collection of blue designs that seems to be inspired from army uniforms of the early 1920s, when many nations changed the black colour of their attires to navy blue.


    Christian Dior . Fall-Winter 2017-18 Campaign . Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

    Dior has released a video of Professor Michel Pastoureau, a renowned symbolist, who speaks about the meaning of blue colour through the ages.

    I actually red the book “Blue” a few years ago. I remember I enjoyed very much the experience. It was fantastic to realise how the religion and society have influenced the perception of the colour from “hate” to “love”. 

    "[During Roman times], blue eyes were almost a physical disgrace. It was the sign of little virtue for women, while it was considered as effeminate, barbaric or ridiculous for men." (1)

    I love colours. Well, it might seem strange since I have played with a very narrow chromatic palette in my pictures for quite a few years now. But I get to learn about them and their symbolism.

    I discovered the book « L’Etonnant pouvoir des couleurs » by Jean-Gabriel Causse, a colour designer. This is where I first red about Feng Shui. I did not know anything about the Chinese philosophy. I investigated further and literally fell in love with the philosophy based on observation. It is now part of my daily life.

    Apart from the virtue of blue in Feng Shui, the colour has been qualified as the colour of creativity by scientific studies. Many artists have been inspired by the colour. Here I present a few of my favourite blue paintings.


    1 . Picasso . Blue Nude . 1902 | 2 . Antoine-Jean Gros . Sappho at Leucate . 1801 | 3 . Léon Bonnat . Le Barbier de Suez . 1876 | 4 . Joan Miro . Blue III . 1961 | 5 . Ingres . La Grande Odalisque . 1814 | 6 . Van Gogh . Almond Blossom . 1890 | 7 . Edward Poynter . Andromeda . 1869 | 8 . Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer . Harmony in blue . 1906 | 9 . Gustav Klimt . Allegory of scultpture . 1896

    To conclude with niche fragrances, painter Yves Klein who gave his name to the Klein blue hue, as well as René Magritte who painted “This is not a pipe”, seemed to have actually inspired the brand Histoires de Parfums, which created a Collection of fragrances called “This is not a blue bottle”.

    "This is not a blue bottle” is the allegory of a fragrant big bang, a journey from the abstract to the most fiery of emotions in the infinite realm of blue." (2)


    1. Yves Klein . Reliefs Eponges Bleues . 1957 |  2 & 3. Histoires de Parfums . This is not a blue bottle | 4. René Magritte . This is not a pipe . 1927

    Art, fragrances, storytelling and marketing converging here to make our lives smell beautifully.

    (1) Extract from the book "Blue" by Michel Pastoureau
    (2) Extract from Histoires de Parfums website

  • The impact of the Eiffel Tower on Art

    Chanel has just paid a tribute to the Belle Epoque by replicating the Eiffel Tower in Le Grand Palais, two of the most emblematic Art Nouveau buildings of Paris, to ornament its Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2017-18 collection.

    Built for the 1889 Universal exhibition of Paris, and commemorating 100 years of the French Revolution, the Eiffel tower was the symbol of modernity and of the beginning of the industrial era.


    From left ot right: Chanel Haute Couture Collection . Fall-Winter 2017-18 | The Eiffel Tower was the entrance gate to the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris

    “With the discovery of metals for construction materials, engineers challenged themselves. A worldwide competition was launched to build a 1,000 feet tower. The country that would succeed in realising such technical prowess would be considered as the most technically advanced country”. (1)

    France eventually won the technical race, but:

     “As a symbol of modernity and avant-garde, the Eiffel Tower has always been a source of inspiration for artists”. (2)

    And amongst which, Karl Lagerfeld himself, in fashion but also in photography with his Eiffel tower series. In the same year of the Universal exhibition, the famous perfumer Aimé Guerlain created Jicky, the first French perfume incorporating synthetic ingredients such as vanillin.

    From left to right: Jicky, 1889 and its modern interpretation, Mon Guerlain, 2017, housed in a very similar bottle


    As it usually happens with disrupting novelties, women who were used to floral bouquets first rejected the unusual smell of the fragrance, but English dandies adopted it.

    Such scent was made possible, thanks to advances in organic chemistry that revolutionised perfumery by isolating and then synthesising molecules of plants. Laboratories in Europe and in the United States enabled new combinations that changed deeply the way perfumers worked until then. Ingredients from the new industrial technology entered into the pallet of perfumers, next to the traditional ingredients of artisanal origins.

    If perfumery initiated an evolution from figurative perfumery to abstract perfumery with Jicky, the same happened in photography in that same period.

    But while Aimé Guerlain was using synthetic ingredients to reach abstraction, the objective of the pictorialism movement was to reach artistry by erasing the mechanical nature of photography.

    “Works of art start where you recognise the hand of the artist. (…) While subject is nothing, interpretation is all. (…) Photography can only be considered as an art expression if it is capable of creating beauty regardless of the beauty of the subject.”

    Art has no imaginary boundaries. I personally blend past and present to deliver my own vision. I love Art Nouveau style I capture it with my modern camera. Maybe I can say that I am quite obsessed with the up close detail of curves and lines. The intention is to feel the movements of the hands of the artists that made these works of art. The abstraction I reach makes me disconnect from reality and enter into my dreamy and emotional world.



    Belle Epoque photo serie . La Habana (Cuba) & Cartagena (Spain)


    I cannot agree more with the vision of Constant Puyo, one of the photographers that founded the Pictorialism movement: 

    “Since his main idea was beauty, it seems Puyo tried to reproduce as much as possible of the plastic equivalent of the emotion he felt in front of beauty (of a landscape, of a woman or of a rural scene), instead of the idea itself."

    (1) Extract from Eiffel Tower website
    (2) Extract from Chanel news website

  • The storytelling power of fragrances

    The storytelling power of fragrances

    After a childhood and an adolescence during which I learnt how to escape from reality, having the opportunity to work in the mysterious perfumery sector was very exciting to me.

    Fragrances eventually came into my professional life seventeen years ago.

    I remember being impressed the first time I spoke with a perfumer on his art. How could he recall so many ingredients? How could he detect all of them in one fragrance? Is there a secret behind it all? No, no secret but a lot of hard work and many years of experience. The more I got to learn about the sector, the more fascinated I was.

    Music and perfumery are usually compared as both sectors use notes to create a piece of music or a fragrance. And what about the similarities of perfumery and photography? Working in both spheres, I can tell you there are many!

    A smell is invisible; it is a sort of spirituality. We do not see it, but there it is. No need to question it. It will make such an unconscious impression on you that you might remember it forever. Photography has also some sort of mysticism. It captures fleeting moments to make them last forever.

    While in the process of creating a fragrance, a perfumer plays on the different ingredients in the formula to get the perfect balance to suit the story he wishes to tell, highlighting some notes while leaving others in the dark, just like a photographer does with light.

    The evocative power of a fragrance is similar to that of a picture. The smell reminds you of a place or a situation. The place or situation depicted in a picture might remind you how it smelt during that moment. 

    While a fragrance metamorphoses the person that wears it, an image metamorphoses the world we live in through the vision of the photographer.

    In Japan, they listen to fragrances. The ritual is known as Kodo. Fragrances have something to tell, like pictures do. They tell us a lot about the world around us, and about ourselves.

    Both photography and perfumery, in their artistic forms, speak to the heart. They are connected directly to our emotions. They are wonderful vehicles to tell stories. 

    It is no surprise that perfumery and photography go hand in hand to tell us emotional stories. Day after day, this is what I am, a raconteur, whatever the medium I use: photography, perfumery or marketing.

    As I usually say to customers I assess:

    “Which story are you going to tell to your customers tomorrow?”

    Let’s imagine it together, structure it and create it.



    Pictures from left to right: Alaïa by Alaïa Paris, perfume campaign shot by photographer Paolo Roversi, 2015 . Lolou by Cacharel, perfume campaign shot by photographer Sarah Moon, 1987

  • The dreamy world of Paolo Roversi

    The dreamy world of Paolo Roversi

    When I look at Paolo Roversi’s pictures, I am instantly dragged into his universe. I feel overcome with emotion.  My breath speeds up. All my senses are on alert. Something is going on. The mystery that exudes from his pictures literally catches all my attention.

    Paolo Roversi says,

    “Photography goes beyond reality and illusion. It brushes another life, another dimension, revealing not only what exists but also what does not exist.”

    Indeed. This is the magic of it. Silence is paramount to reach those parallel worlds when I shoot. In such state of mind, I leave this world. I am elsewhere. I hear the barely audible. I smell how my characters feel. I spot even the tiniest details in the dark. I move around this ethereal environment, set the light, and when I recognise my world, I capture it.

    “Light is not a matter of reason… but of feeling. (…) Each picture is an encounter, an intimate and mutual confession.”

    My personal life blends unconsciously to the story I am writing with images. My heart beats at the tip of my finger when I press the button. All my energy focuses on the caption of this fainted world. My feelings guide me throughout the journey.

    Pictures, as well as scents, leave indelible stories in our memories, ephemeral moments but everlasting memories.

    For me, the most fascinating aspect is what they evoke when we see or smell them, even years later. If a picture is worth more than a thousand words, then what about a fragrance?

    In the next post I will write about fragrances. Seventeen years working in this sector, yes... a lot! ;)

    I will comment on the many similarities between photography and perfumery. Stay tuned!



    Quotes: Studio, Paolo Roversi, Steidl, 2009
    Pictures from left to right: Giorgio Armani Campaign, 1998 . Vogue Italia fashion editorial, 2003 . Vogue Italia fashion editorial, 2013

  • Why I love Art Nouveau?

    Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Modernismo, Liberty, many names but the same artistic movement I love.

    What I like most is its open-mindedness. No strict aesthetic rules to follow. Art Nouveau is freedom of expression.

    Apart from the aesthetic, the idea behind it is really powerful. The movement started at the end of the 19th century in a period of big change in society.

    England was the first country to transform itself into an industrialised nation.  Populations were impacted in their lives. Many fears arose. Will machines replace men? It was the end of a world and the beginning of a new one with no idea to where it would lead.

    Meanwhile voices spoke up to condemn the domination of machines, others such as artist William Morris went into action to protect and promote craftsmanship.

    He was convinced that an object could be enjoyed only if it was made in good working conditions. Somehow he believed that items have a soul, the soul of the person who made it for us. I must say I totally share this view. In an affluent society, we consume less and less because we have a specific need. We are ingulfed in impulse spending. We buy from the heart. We wish to acquire products that are manufactured responsibly. Just imagine how you would feel about your favourite sneakers if you get to know that they were made by exploited workers. Well, not so cool actually! I would personally not like to be part of it and would not buy anymore for this brand. This is exactly what the core of Art & Crafts movement is all about seen from a modern point of view.

    The soulless machine vs the intention of the artist. This deeply resounded into me.

    During the past two years I have been given access to art nouveau buildings in Spain, France and England.  Being in such buildings was really moving for me. Some were transmitting very good vibrations. I soon realised that I was not really interested to document the building itself but was rather attracted by the details. Being close to the hands of the sculptors, the blacksmiths, the glassmakers. Being close to the movement of their hands, hearing them breath and being part of their intentions.

    As a photographer, I use a machine to take pictures. Of course, I dominate it. It does what I intend it to. I choose every technical aspect of my pictures like I choose the aesthetic. But what about adding some extra craft into the process?

    While taking pictures I realised I was searching for a certain mood, an atmosphere that would draw me closer to the purpose of Margaret Cameron, my favourite photographer. When she initiated photography at the age of 46 in the 1850s, she was using the wet collodion process, an antique technique that added extra drama to her pictures.


    Diaz Cassou house, Murcia (Spain) . Wet Collodion tintotype

    Imagining myself in the footsteps of Margaret Cameron just filled me with imagination. I then searched workshops to learn the process. The first picture I developed using this vintage technique has left a lasting impression on me. This moody effect was actually what I have been searching for all these years. Here it was. Here was my mysterious hallmark.

  • Exhibiting at Mondo gallery

    Exhibiting at Mondo gallery

    It is a great pleasure to inform you about my participation to a photography and design collective exhibition from 17 December 2015 to 15 February 2016 in calle San Lucas, number 9 in Madrid (Spain) curated by Mondo gallery.

    Some of my pictures from the series "The strength of will" and "A fleeting encounter" will be displayed. 

    I will be at Mondo gallery on Saturday 19 December from 6.00 pm. See you there!

  • Rembrandt and the Dutch masters

    The seventeenth century has gone down in history among other things as the golden age of Holland. The Low Countries became the epicentre of Europe, the great hegemony of the Old Continent which in later times would pass into French and eventually English hands.

    Dutch science, trade, culture and politics were at the zenith.  Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leyden and Utrecht were the birthplaces of great thinkers and artists and the cities where they were nurtured or sheltered. Baroque painting was being developed at the same time during the century and, in contrast to the Italian school, it was more concerned with detail than with colour.  Rembrandt, together with others such as Jan Lievens, Gerrit Dou or Jacob Adriaensz Backer, was one of its most representative artists.


    Rembrandt . An old man asleep . 1629

    His full name was Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn and he was considered as “one of the greatest prophets of civilization” as he portrayed, as no-one else could, the human condition and the passions of the soul using his paint-brushes: joy, sadness, fear, wrath, amazement, etc. The themes of his paintings are not usually religious in character, but they have an air of mysticism and his figures often remind us of biblical subjects or seem to be endowed with moral attributes. An enfolding aura, replete with chiaroscuro, carries us into the very depths of his works, making us “live within” them, not just admiring them. Once again, it is the dramatic factor that particularly fascinates me.

    Talking of Rembrandt is like talking of shadows. “The Night Watch” or “The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp” are major examples which show the influence of Caravaggio. Feelings of extreme excitement or movement weigh more heavily than formal precision. Rembrandt is a narrator, a storyteller who sweeps away everything superfluous to get right down to the heart of his tales. In a long story, he shows the exact moment when a  complete change of mind takes place in his characters. Just like a cinema director, the painter focuses on what seems to be scenes from a film, not the flat canvas of a painting. And this factor inevitably influences a photo. In fact Rembrandt's legacy dug itself deep into the art of photography when Cecil B. DeMille christened a new technique:  “Rembrandt” lighting.

    Rembrandt . The Anatomy Lesson of Doctor Tulp . 1632

    For me personally, he was a magician of light and shade, a teller of endless living stories, crammed with emotion, and of course the master of an artistic movement, the baroque. After him, the eighteenth century made its triumphal entry and the shades of mystery were dispelled with a breath of fresh air: light illuminated the whole of Europe.

  • The delicate collage of Andrey Sokolov

    Recently I got to know about the fabulous collages of Andrey Sokolov, a young Ukrainian artist, who uses early-20th-century fashion & ballet photography to make unique collages full of mystery and beauty.

    To see more art pieces from the author, click  here.

  • Greek Goddess

    Beautiful black & white cover of the March 2014 issue of Turkish Vogue by Turkish photographer Cuneyt Akeroglu.

    Doutzen Kroes portrayed like a Greek Goddess statue, reminds me of a book I read recently about the Greek photographer Nelly who caused a scandal in 1927 & 1929 by portraying semi-naked dancers in Acropolis.


    I am a big fan of the aesthetics of Greek art which is for me synonymous to natural beauty and the search for harmony.

    Photographer Cyneyt Akeroglu we see more and more in international fashion magazines started his career as a fashion designer. Today he lives in London.

  • The aesthetics of shadows

    I recently read a book from Junichiro Tanizaki, a Japanese writer born in 1886. It is called In Praise of Shadows. What a wonderful find! I am feeling so comfortable and almost familiar with his Oriental way of seeing and interpreting shadows even though I was brough up in the “West”.


    In his vision,

    “Darkness is key to appreciate beauty. It is not a substance in itself but a play with shadows and chiaroscuro”.

    Beauty is not limited to a “good-looking” concept. No superficiality here. Beauty is to be found in our complexity, our contradictions, our values and in our life force. When shooting, my interest lies in catching that specific light coming from within. A shady atmosphere helps to capture such intimacy.

  • Mystery. My watchword

    If I had to choose a single word to define the work I do it would be Mystery. Every element present in the picture serves to tell a mysterious story. Not a frightening mystery but a lovely, harmonious one which is just waiting to be revealed. As an artist, my aim is to encourage the spectator to dream of the stories which I transmit as this will mean that he or she has discovered how to pierce through the hidden world  captured in my photos.

    I am always on the lookout for models who act out and express their feelings, so adding more to my story than just their beauty. The subjects of my photography take part in an exchange of emotions just as if they were on the stage; elegant, strong intelligent women who are at one and the same time charismatic and feminine as they pose for my camera. My photos reflect my own personal vision of woman: a stylish, elegant heroine who attracts and fascinates.

    I like to define myself as a portrait photographer, as my shots aim to create and capture an intimate view of their subjects. My work does not merely take place in another time, but it invites the viewer into the beyond by means of the nostalgia with which it is imbued. In my photos I try so hard to reflect a  personal ideal which defies the meaningless speed with which our times rush by and which  turns the words “here and now” into a mere jumble of syllables as soon as they are spoken. I present my subjects within  a space-time framework in an undetermined past outside the prosaic world of today, transmitting a feeling of unreality which invites the viewer to dream and plunge inside the story itself.

    But the characters do not only step onto the stage, but are enfolded in an atmosphere which takes on vital importance and is the vehicle by means of which the story is told. I manipulate light concentrating its intensity on the subjects of the picture, a dramatic resource which pays hommage to Rembrandt, one of my favourite painters whose use of shade I admire, and which he uses to draw one’s attention to a particular area of the image. However I do not only use light to reveal but also to conceal. The photographer Diane Arbus explained that there is “a real physical presence of darkness”, so that the viewer uses the imagination to penetrate beyond what the image itself actually shows.

    In short, any form of artistic expression contains intentionality, an aspiration which directly influences the viewer. For me, photography is the art of the imagination par excellence because while it does not  depend upon movement or sound it fulfils its purpose of telling a story and transmitting deep emotions. I hope that the mystery which I construct and present will cause the viewer to be attracted to the story and to reflect upon it.

    Characters have a story. Listen.

  • Coming across new locations: An Art Nouveau mansion in Cartagena

    We’ll imagine a small room, rather bare, with walls and furniture which give an overall impression of whiteness. Now we have to imagine who lives there.

    Now let’s start over.

    No: let’s think about the same small room, but with a great glossy wooden wardrobe, a fire burning in the fireplace and an armchair upholstered in satin. If we were to think about whoever lives there now, it wouldn’t be the same person, now would it?

    Photos tell stories, and stories are not only contained within the characters who embody them; the atmosphere, space, buildings… they all bring in information and allow us to perceive what lies behind it all and means that a picture makes sense. Atmosphere is a living entity. Atmosphere is one more character in our story.

    My claim is that I am a photographer with a real passion for locations. I love to stroll, come upon hidden nooks which in themselves tell the tale of their adventures, enchanting places which just have to be seen and heard because of everything that they have to tell.

    My latest discovery is this Art Nouveau mansion, which you can find in Cartagena (Murcia): just look at these photos:

    It caught my attention right from the start. The state it is in – inhabited but dilapidated – evokes a feeling of deep melancholy, memories of times of elegance and splendour which are now mere shadows of what once was. This is proof of what Jorge Manrique once said, any time which is over and done was inevitably better. But at the same time it is a place which is tremendously alive, welcoming us into the particular atmosphere which makes it the perfect setting for stories to be told.

    If you are fascinated by places, if you know of original backgrounds which are full of life and history – especially if they are thick with nostalgia – I would love to hear about them. It would be a tremendous help to enable me to go on doing what I like to do most: tell stories with the aid of my camera.

  • Welcome! :)

    I am very pleased to present my new website & blog! I hope you will enjoy the ride! I will regularly share with you my vision of photography, perfumery and marketing. I will inform you in the blog about my shoots, my inspirations, about exhibitions, movies I liked. Anything I might find interesting to share.

    Talk to you soon! 

  • Silence to reach my world

    Not long ago in another post I was mulling over the element of mystery which pervades the whole of my work and inspires me, making me able to imbue my shots with a special sort of feeling and to use them to tell stories.

    However, to ensnare that element of mystery I need complete silence. Photography is an art, and as an artist I have created my very own creative ritual. It is vital for me to work in a calm setting where I can rise up above earthly things and capture that magic “spark” which sets my creativity on fire. Other artists, such as Francis Bacon, have mentioned the role which silence plays in their creative process. As a painter he claimed that

    “Silence is the restfulness which nourishes wisdom.”

    This silence, especially when it is within me, leads me to express through my photography the mystery I mentioned. But as silence does not only depend on myself, when I am on a photography shoot I like to be surrounded by a team of tactful people who add just that little extra dose of serenity. Each one plays his or her part to perfection, but the main character of each project reigns supreme. When I take a picture, the sound the camera makes is the only thing which is to be heard at the heart of all that silence. Meanwhile, my team is on hand, ready, discreet and stealthy, working carefully on every last detail.

    This is absolutely the basic setting for me, letting me switch off from reality, fly away and enter that fleeting world which I have to try to pin down. The “Photographer of Silence” as Humberto Rivas, the great Argentinean portrait artist was known, tried to capture in his shots the inner workings of the people who stood before his lens. And that is how I feel too when I am creating, with silence and mystery as a back-cloth, listening to people and hearing their surroundings breathe, and making the whole essence of the scene mine with just a tiny click at the moment of inspiration.

    The mute, silent magic of photography is what traps and secures the deepest and most sincere essence of a human being.

  • Art that inspires me

    Nothing can come from nothing. Art inspires art. So however many virtues an artist may possess, curiosity will probably be one of the most important. In order to express his or her own take on the world, the presence of muses, that is to say the metaphors for inspiration, is vital. And as they don’t always pop up as if by magic, part of the artist’s work is to seek them out, track them down. And as a photographer, I am always lying in wait for mine. It could be a word, an image, a colour, a fleeting thought... even a moment of silence can do the trick and stir up my inspiration.

    Gustave Doré . Idylls of the King . 1868

    Every artist is nourished by art which already exists when creating his or her own, even the greatest among them: Leonardo, Picasso, Baudelaire… In their biographies there is always some reference to “influences”, which not only explains the heritage which they have passed on to us but also the influence which other artists had on them. Donatello, for example, inspired Leonardo, Toulouse-Lautrec’s work inspired Picasso and Baudelaire’s reading and translating texts by Edgar Allan Poe contributed to a great extent to his own poetry.

    We are like the demiurge which Plato spoke of, creative beings which, by means of the realm of ideas, make “inspiration” come to life within the material world: a photograph, for example. And so here I am, searching for my “muses” as usual, which I often find in classical films and the graphic arts: painting, illustration, engravings, prints… and of course photography. Light, colours and detail are very important to me, but what I find most fascinating are symbols and stories: the dramatic element which underlies every piece of work.

    In forthcoming “posts” I’ll be talking about the twentieth century, the Renaissance, the Middle East, Africa and Japan; about Van Gogh, Tissot and Rembrandt… In fact, about the art that inspires me, the “mystery of my creation”.