“Train your eye and your skills, as long as you have something to tell.” Jesús Madriñán
Jesús Madriñán (born in 1984 in Santiago de Compostela) is a contemporary photographer from Spain currently living in Madrid. He studied photography at “Central Saint Martins”, University of the Arts London. For Spanish documentary photographer Jesús Madriñan photography is a means to explore the often fleeting limits between reality and fiction.
Artist statement: Often enough, the things that are closer to us are the ones that shake us more strongly. That’s why the artist Jesús Madriñán draws inspiration from his own experience and from the context that surrounds him in order to create his works.
Madriñán explores documentary photography by subverting the principles of the genre itself, locating it half-way between two realities that should not necessarily be seen as irreconcilable. This paradox of capturing life’s spontaneity by means of techniques taken from the studio’s predictability constitutes the realm where Madriñán locates his reflections about the limits between reality and fiction.
Madriñán’s pictures have the magnetism of discordance, emerging from the contradictions between the topic and the finish. Their serenity and stillness intrigue the audience and stir evocation because their estrangement from the anecdote keeps them at a distance that universalizes their subjects. Hence, his figures become timeless characters of a disturbingly familiar universe where it becomes inevitable to ask ourselves if their artificiality and solitude is also our own.
Text: Monserrat Pis Marcos
Jesús Madriñán, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
Photography is my preferred medium in the construction of narratives as it is the only medium that allows me to project faithfully what is happening inside my mind. Photography allows you to narrow reality, showing what you are actually seeing, and by extension, a reflection of what you are thinking. It is a tool of expression.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
“I am inspired by my own experience and the context that surrounds me.”
I enjoy using detailed and complex techniques in spontaneous and unpredictable situations. This paradox challenges the classical portraiture opposing his composure and solemnity with the stream of life that surrounds it. I am inspired by my own experience and the context that surrounds me to create my works, then I move all my equipment and set up an actual photo studio there where I want to photograph.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
This photographer might have been Rineke Dijkstra, I think we have similar ways to approach photography. I am also very interested in the work of other photographers such as August Sanders, Pieter Hugo or Richard Learoyd.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“In front of the camera I am at once the person I think I am, the person I want to be thought to be, the person the photographer thinks I am and the person he uses in order to demonstrate his skills.” Roland Barthes
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I tend to work with 5×4, but I have acquired recently an 8×10 and I will use it for my next project.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
30y3 Spanish Photography.
What book about photography would you recommend?
Actually I would recommend to read less and shoot more.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Again, shoot more. Of course research is important. But, in my opinion, if you want to be a photographer, and not an art critic or an art historian, train your eye and your skills, as long as you have something to tell.
More information about documentary photographer Jesús Madriñán
Official homepage “Jesús Madriñán Photography”: www.jesusmadrinan.com