One of the best photographers in Europe, winner of the most prestigious awards in Spain
Snapshots that offer a new look at everyday objects
Surrealism, worthy of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte
Black and white magic of photography
Once commenting on the works by Chema Madoz the artist Fernando Castro said: "The world is not what it seems to be". This phrase could easily become a motto for the famous Spanish surrealist photographer. For many years the Spaniard Chema Madoz has been creating intricate, psychedelic works, using familiar, everyday objects. He turns a pear into a light bulb, tree rings — into a match flame, and a feather — into a metal edge of a sickle.
Through surprisingly accurate metaphors, hyperlinks, irony, absurdity and paradox, he finds new meanings of things, bringing them to the level of symbols and interpretations.
The artist’s precise photographic resolution is also decisive. This means photographing an idea. The mere materiality of the idea is not the final object of his work, but rather its frame, its portrait. Like the classic snapshots: its precise moment in time. That is why he sticks to black and white photography: there are no excessive elements, it is impossible to guess the time of its creation, and all the works acquire a unified form.
It is hard to believe but Chema Madoz does not process his photographs in any graphic editors – he is sure that digital photo editing is nothing but a far-fetched and flimsy way to reach irrationality. All the objects in his pictures are made specifically for shooting, and there is even a small collection of them in the artist’s house.
The show at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art presents an extensive selection of photographs taken by the artist between 2008 and 2014, in which Chema Madoz provides yet another example of his masterful ability to observe the world of things around us and use them to articulate visual messages, delving deeper into the sensory language of objects by manipulating their latent meanings.
This collection of 119 photographs in black and white on baryta paper belongs to the latest phase of Madoz’s work, which received the Community of Madrid Photography Award in 2012 and are largely presented to the public for the first time.
The exhibition is divided into four major areas that facilitate the walk through the photographs with the least interference possible, as the multiplication of ideas and the resonance between different and also distant images proposed by Madoz requires the viewer’s active participation.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Jose Maria Rodriguez Madoz, better known as Chema Madoz, was born in 1958 in Madrid, where he’s been living and working for all his life.
Chema Madoz studied Art History at Universidad Complutense de Madrid between 1980 and 1983. It is here that he was first exposed to the study of photography and imaging.
His first individual exhibition was in Madrid in 1985, at the Royal Photographic Society of Madrid. The second solo show opened is 1988 in Madrid Cultural Center.
Since 1990 Chema Madoz has been developing the concept of objects, a subject which would appear constantly in his photography until the present.
After receiving Kodak Spain Prize (1991), and PhotoEspaña Award and National Photography Award (2000), Chema Madoz was officially given the title of the most famous photographer in the country and one of the most prominent masters of photography art in the world.