Francisco Caparrós

 

Was born in Baza (Granada) in 1954, He had his first experiences with photography at an early age, in his father´s studio taking portraits of friends and discovering the magic of the dark room where images are “reveled.” He became particularly interested in this artistic media as well as in painting and drawing under the tutelage of Julio Vazquez, an Argentine fine arts professor who had been living Baza since 1964. Since then, he has devoted himself to photography both professionally and artistically.  In 1966 he began experimenting in the laboratory, discovering the chemical properties involved in the developing processes and using different lenses in the use of photography as a means of communication.

He depicted people and landscapes typical of the area as well as experimental still-lifes.  His works also consisted of drawings and etchings on glass which, with different objects, were made into prints, solarizations, and other experimental works.

In 1969, He travelled to different Spanish towns and cities in order to know and photograph them.  While travelling, he visited El Prado, the Sorolla museum in Madrid and the Fine Arts Museum in Bilbao. He was particularly impressed with the works of Velázquez, Goya, Rubens and el Bosch.

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In 1970, He moved to Madrid in order to begin his studies in Fine Arts.  However 1973 he moved to Valencia, where he established himself.

In 1972, he travelled around Italy so as to know and photograph different Italian towns and cities.  With some of his first works “El movimiento y la luz / Movement and light”, he established his deconstructive relationship which has continued to present day.  This is one way to convert the photographed image into a desire to synthesize the subject, as if something real were something crude and excessively descriptive. The unpredictability of the recreated images in a time defined in object´s placement is closer to what was remembered than the symbol observed.   Fernando Castro refers to Caparrós´ work as – “a hunter obsessed with visual pleasures of metropolitan life.  He moves in the deconstruction of the paradigm of the decisive instant instead of the postmodern appropriationism or that of a given moment.”

In his search for expressive language, he has focused on several different subjects both in landscapes and portraits. In this way “Interiores de paisaje / Landscape interiors”– Galería el Paláu – Juan Angel Blasco wrote about this work by Caparrós in the magazine Cimal no. 25 in 1985 – “He is not motivated by the ´immobilization of movement´ vigorously sought by other photographers.  His work centers, preferably, on the stationary environment in which still geological objects offer the viewer an opportunity to explore.

His preferred subject matter is that of minerals at a standstill, generous in color and shape contrast and exposed in rich textures and rock formations.  The defenseless environment holds particular power over Caparrós, attracting his fine sensitivity to the most minimal detail and innermost secret.”

 

– Discussing the same body of work, Román de la Calle wrote, “Francisco Caparrós elaborates´ the visual reality, not only through his metonymical choice for discontinuity and fragmentation, or by resorting to eloquent technical effects in his works and processes, but also by distinguishable photographic skills introducing compositional techniques exerted directly on the visual substance.

Two qualities can be seen in Caparrós´ photos. On the one hand, you see the search for places and “non-places” which manifest themselves in a state of latent solitude like in the series   “Estructuras dormidas / Dormant structures” o “Casi silencio / Almost silence” where what is being photographed is the mark this particular moment has left and not another, the short breath of an instant reflected and trapped forever by the camera in all its luxurious details.  On the other hand the scene “feeling” reclassified or recomposed with the intention of seizing the subconscious, the sensation of almost forgetting the moment, the memory, the smell, the temperature, the noise.  The noise, almost the only thing left to remember; the color, the large format, the attempt to return to this time and place.    In Jerográficos Fotográficos y Bambú, photos taken in New York and Japan respectively are given this deconstructive character resulting in the labyrinth like script of bodies expressing the emotion of the moment being lived.

Fernando Castro, wrote the following in the catalogue accompanying the exhibit held in the IVAM/ The Valencia Modern Art Museum: – The radiance seen in Caparrós´ photos are traces that the city leaves which can only have character by virtue of what has happened in the “mechanical look” of the camera, guided by his artistic gestures. The hypnagogic state which arises in the “numbness” implies an orientation and a special perceptive limitation in the same way in which Caparrós achieves his Jerografías where natural light has disappeared giving way to the seductive hold the night posses.

It is believed that in order to develop this hypnagogic phenomenon, it is necessary that one´s imagination flow automatically.   And, however, these hypnagogic phenomena are not merely automatic thoughts “contemplated by conscience” but in reality, they are our conscience.

We are not comptemepating the hypnagogic image, but instead are fascinated by it.  In this kind of dream like state which is not yet formed in Caparrós´ photographs, there is a hallucinatory aspect, which makes it seem like these images are intensely brighter than reality.  Instead of a cognitive absence (picnolepsia) which leads to a bunkerized experience, the camera, open to flashes of metropolitan life, captures  hypnagogic images which are pure change, choreographies of light and disconcerting rotations.-

In the exhibit Bambú / Bamboo, held in the Raquel Ponce gallery in Madrid, the following was written in the ABCD Las Artes y las Letras / of Arts and Letters – From the metropolitan overcrowding, Caparrós travelled to Japan and created a fascinating series titled Bambú / Bamboo. With great insight, he has taken an element of great symbolic power present in both oriental paintings and poems alluding to the ideas of maturity. – — Using a splendid range of greens, Caparrós gives us a deep poetic experience.  We feel immersed in the forest which Bachelard spoke about with its aquatic dreaminess: so immense that it disorients and gives such pleasure that its reflections were Narcissus´downfall.-

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Caparrós has also made severs video art works such as “10´27 to Liberty”, 2006 y “El Espíritu del Bambú / The Spirit of Bamboo”, 2009. The first was work which integrated video and sound on top  photographs from Jerográficos Fotográficos taken while in New York where the rhythm, color and music plunges us into the hypnagogic world of the city. The second is a reflection of the slow cycle and complex nature which leads us to understand the patience and maturity so present in the orient.  The work was done entirely infographically being able to address the project in an expressively subtle way.  In both cases, Juan J. Coll, a composer of great sensitivity and expertise, collaborated.

In 2009 he participated in Domingo Sánchez Blanco´s project, in the Museo Mausoleo / the Mausoleum Museum, where a cast aluminum sculpture titled “La Esfera del Miedo / The Sphere of Fear” was buried. This Project was done with the collaboration of the town of Morílle (Salamanca) and with the artists Fernando Castro, Domingo Sánchez as well as several poets who carried the sphere to the grave where there were ashes of papers in which fears had been written and burned. This act was one of quasi magical spiritual liberation

Rastros / Traces”, started in 2012 where he delves into the expression of thought.  From the compressed and stretched images done with a “photographic pallet”, acting on the photographs selected and treated for this purpose.  A sort of photographic painting, with traces of color and modified shapes in function with the projection and the thoughts that are instilled. Presently Caparrós is working on a project titled “Metáfrasis”.

 

Works–  Personas , Paisajes (1967); Lugares de España / People, landscapes and places in Spain (1969); Imágenes italianas/ Italian Images (1972); El Movimiento y la Luz / the movement and the light (1974); Caparrós, Fotografía pintura dibujo / photography, painting and drawings (1974); Mensajes cifrados / Coded messages (1975); Desde el cielo / From the Sky (1976); Naturalezas Vivas / Living Nature (1980), “Aspectes de la fotografía al Pais Valenciá”, / Aspects of photography in the Valencian Community Sala Parpalló; Los cuentos del Agua / Water Stories (1981); Interiores de Paisaje / Inside landscapes (1982) gallery El Palau; Good Morning America (1989) Casi silencio / Almost Silence (1990); Estructuras Dormidas / Dormant Structures (1992) Invasión Clip / Clip invasion (1995); New York, Mirada Perdida / Lost Glance (1999); Ruta 66 (2005); Jerográficos Fotográficos (2005-2006); Las luces del Sol Naciente / Lights from the Nation of the Rising Sun (2007); Bambú (2007); La esfera del Miedo / The Sphere of Fear (2009); Paisajes Horizontales / Horrizontal landscapes (2010); El Angel Necesario/ The necassary Angel (2010) for the Museum de BBAA San Pio V; Floresta (2011); Islas Vacías / Empty Islands (2011); Movimiento Circular / Circular Movements (2013); Rastros / Traces (2012 – 2014); Arquitectura del Paisaje / Landscape Architecture (2005 – 2017); Metáfrasis (2017)

 

Bibliography: Aspectes de la fotografía al Pais Valenciá, / Aspects of photography in the Valencian Community (1980); Ediciones Nueva Lente No. 99 – Pablo Ramirez (1980); Cimal no. 25, Cuadernos de cultura artística / Notebooks on Artistic Culture, Caparrós y la fotografía / Caparrós and photography – Juan Ángel Blasco Carrascosa; Interiores de Paisaje / Inside Landscapes , (1982) Román de la Calle, Pablo Ramirez, Francisco Baños Martos, Galería Palau; –La fotografía como erótica del objeto / photography as an erotic object-, Román de la Calle, Las Provincias; –Jerográficos Fotográficos-, (2006) IVAM Consuelo Ciscar, José Garcia Casimiro, Raquel Gutierrez, Román de la Calle, Fernando Castro Florez; Gabarron.org (2008); –Nostalgia de Futur Homenaje a Renau / Nostalgia for the Future Homage to Renau– (2009); –Otro modo de enfocar / Another way of focusing-, Fernando Castro Florez, ABCD may 30 (2009); La fotografía en la colección del IVAM / Photography in the IVAM collection, – El Paisaje / Landscapes – (2008); Plusmarca, Arte y Deporte / Records in art and Sport (2008); La fotografía en la colección del IVAM Photography in the IVAM collection , – Piezas Maestras / Master pieces – (2009); Miradas Arquitectónicas en la colección del IVAM / Architectural looks from the collection of the IVAM Diputación de Alicante (2008); Cuadernos del IVAM Notebooks from the IVAM Collection No. 15 –El Japón de Caparrós, Pincel de Luz / Caparrós´ Japan, paintbrush and light -, Consuelo Ciscar; Arte Español en la Colección del IVAM (2010); IVAM Donaciones (2010); – Obras Maestras del Siglo XX en la Colección del IVAM / Masterpieces from the 20th century in the IVAM Collection  – (2010) – El Ángel Necesario / The necessary Angel -, San Poi V, Fernando Castro Flores (2011); Jerográficos New York, Tokyo, Kyoto, Rosalind Wiliams – Fernando Castro Florez (2014); El Mundo, 25 años en movimiento / The world, 25 years in movement (2014). Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo, Riba-roja de Túria, Valencia. Jerográficos Manhattan, Tokyo, Kyoto – Rosalind Williams-Fernando Castro Florez –. Espacialismo Cromático / Chromatic spatialism, Centro del Carmen – V Centenario del Nacimiento de Sta. Teresa de Jesús / 5oo years since the birth of Sta. Teresa de Jesús (2.015); 13 Artistas Valencianos Contemporáneos y un Homenaje desde La Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos, 13 Contemperary Valencian artists; a hommage from the Royal accademy of Fine Arts of San Carlos,  Román de la Calle, (2015). Nature as Arquitecture (2017) Roberto Polo Gallery – Bruselas.

 

Works by Caparrós can be found in the collections of serval musuems as well as in important private collections.