Italian by birth yet Venezuelan in spirit, Paolo Gasparini is the photographer who has best portrayed the cultural tensions and contradictions of the South American continent.
His images convey the harsh social reality faced by a region whose cultural authenticity is unquestionable, and where the past and local traditions parley with a clumsily imposed modernity. Gasparini creates an oeuvre with its own visual language that always seems to express a criticism of consumer society while at the same time revealing a certain obsession with the way we are seduced by marketing and advertising.
Through his work, the photographer has tried to eliminate the ethnocentric visions and stereotypes that have historically defined Latin America, almost always in terms of ‘the other’, fueled by the different populisms and nationalisms the region has endured.
The work of Paolo Gasparini enables us to understand not only the differences between Europe and Latin America but also the tremendous diversity of the latter region, ranging from Mexico to the southernmost tip of the Andes.
The exhibition is divided into sixteen sections that feature the artist’s most important projects over more than six decades of work, with an emphasis on his photo books, which the photographer recognizes as a means of expression that is just as valid as his photographs.
The publication, accompanying the eponymous exhibition, surveys six decades of his photographic career wherein an itinerary through the ever-changing landscapes of cities such as Caracas, La Habana, Sao Paulo or Mexico seems to echo that of Munich, Paris, Madrid, or London.
The catalog features essays by María Wills, curator of the exhibition, Horacio Fernández, Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Juan Villoro, as well as a concise biography of Gasparini by Sagrario Berti.
About the Author
Born in 1934 in Gorizia, Italy. Lives in Caracas, Venezuela.
Born in Italy, Paolo Gasparini studied photography in the early 1950s under the influence of Italian Neorealism. He immigrated to Venezuela in 1954 and began working as a professional photographer, contributing to the magazine A, Hombre y Expresión. He has traveled widely in Cuba and Venezuela, capturing images of cities and their inhabitants. Recording the tumultuous history of the continent through urban signs, Gasparini has become a leading figure of Latin American photography. He has exhibited in such prominent institutions as MoMA, New York; Fondation A Stichting, Brussels; and Centre Pompidou, Paris. (via phillips.com/)
KBr is the new Photography Center with which Fundación MAPFRE begins a new stage in its intense dedication to artistic photography, one of its main areas of cultural activity since 2009.
With two exhibition areas, a bookstore, an area for educational activities, and a multi-purpose auditorium, KBr became a national and international reference in the field of photography.
Paolo Gasparini: Field of Images
September 30, 2021 – January 16, 2022
KBr Photography Center- Fundacion Mapfre – Barcelona -Spain