Monday, November 25, 2013

Paris Photo findings #1: Humberto Rivas

Londres, 1978
"I decided to quit painting, and it was a decision I took in one day. I burnt all my paintings."

Argentinian-born Humberto Rivas devoted himself entirely to photography in the mid-'70's, at the same time he left his native country fallen in a state terrorism regime to relocate in Spain, living in Barcelona until his death in 2009.

Coimbra, 1994
Rivas is mostly known for his intense black and white portraiture: he used to define portrait photography as a "battle" between the photographer and the model, the struggle to try to go beyond the mask people try to present and reach something beyond their intentions. But Rivas also created a remarkable body of work made of landscapes and interiors, where an excellent use of both light and darkness create eerie sceneries which anticipate the work of atmospheric artists like Gilbert Fastenaekens and Awoiska Van der Molen.

Barcelona, 1982
Rivas died in Barcelona on November 7, 2009, two days after receiving a Gold Medal for the Arts. You can read a long interview with the artist here (Spanish language).

Santiago de Compostela, 1999

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