November 29th 2009 by Andrew S Gibson
You have reached the archive of articles posted on my personal blog. This blog is no longer updated, but you can read my latest articles at my new website The Creative Photographer and find my photography ebooks at my new store.
Thanks for reading! Andrew.
Germán Peraire is a young fine art photographer based in Barcelona, Spain. He approached me asking if I’d be interested in interviewing him for his website. I looked at his website and said yes straight away. His fine art nude photography is beautiful and unique.
How long have you been a photographer?
I started at 16 (now I’m 21).
Only 21? I thought you were much older because your work is very mature.
Yes, I’ve been working a lot…
Are you a professional photographer?
Yes, I’m trying to be. I finished my studies on 2008.
How did you start out in photography?
I started as an amateur, when my father encouraged me at 16 to start taking pictures in black and white. I tried, reading several books, and I became more and more interested, until I realised that photography is my vocation. My art work proceeds from my personal time, I think photography comes from a personal deep need.
Where did you study?
At the Politechnical University of Cataluña, in the Image and Multimedia Technology Centre (CITM – UPC)
Is that in Barcelona?
It’s near Barcelona, in the city of Terrassa.
Did you benefit much from the course?
My studies have been hard, about professional photography, not art photography, so I’ve studied fashion, scientific photography, optics, etc.
So the course was a good course for somebody with ambitions to be a professional photographer?
Yes, in fact, if you want to be making pictures in NASA or pictures for Vogue, or architectural photography, but not art. So, in some ways, I’m self-taught
What are you doing now to further your photography career? For instance, here in England it’s normal for students to go and work as assistants after they leave college.
I’m starting to exhibit and publishing my work in several galleries in Barcelona, and I’m preparing exhibitions in several European cities. I’m a photographer: my task is to create and show my work, not to be an assistant. I think my learning process is finished, what I have to do now is develop my photographic speech.
What’s the photography scene like in Barcelona? Are there many fine art photographers working there?
In Barcelona there are some great photographers, like Joan Fontcuberta (world wide known). In spite of that, the art market and the photographic market are still primitive. There are few collectors and they are only interested in mature artists, so it’s a bit difficult to be known.
What about in other Spanish cities?
It’s better in Madrid, there are more photographic galleries and more attention to photography.
Tell me more about your exhibitions in Barcelona.
To be exhibited in Barcelona I’ve been showing my work in several galleries, with good results. It seems to be that there are some people interested in my work. I’m actually preparing an exhibition in Espacio Niram, Madrid for the 17th October, and now I have a show in SonimagFoto, a photographic national fair, in Barcelona. More over, I’m finalist in the Lux awards from the AFP (professional photographers association in Spain).
I’m also preparing an exhibition in Bucharest, in spring 2010, in Palatul Mogosoaia, a medieval palace that’s now a museum.
How do you organise an exhibition somewhere so far away?
I have an agent that has prepared some interviews with the Palace and is talking with the Spanish consulate and other organisations to get support. I’m grateful to her; she has faith in my work
How did you find your agent?
I met her in an exhibition, we were talking and she offered me that possibility, so I said yes!
One of your exhibitions?
Yes, in Galería José de Ibarra, in spring
What is your goal from an exhibition? Is it to make money or is it for self promotion so people get to know your work?
Producing an exhibition is really expensive, in fact, and I’ve had really few sales, so they are not profitable for me, but I do it by necessity, not for business. It’s an investment for the future. I only want that people know me. If I’m really good we’ll see what happens…
Why do you photograph the nude?
I think the human body, released from clothes and cultural constraints, naked, is the purest way to visually express human nature. I work a lot with my own body, I call them self nudes. Blue and Butoh are self nude works. I try to guess what I am, who I am, some kind of personal development. I work in an instinctive way. My pictures are not about thoughts; they are about subtle emotions that are not possible to explain in words.
Do other subjects appeal to you? Landscapes, documentary photography, stuff like that?
I think not. My instinct doesn’t lead me in other directions. I did some still lifes, but not anything important.
You’ve also published a Blurb book. What response have you had?
Three Blurb books: the first one about my works with Johan and Amélie, two enjoyable dancers. The second is Blue, Self Portraits with Marxela, and recently I published a 160 page compilation of my photos. Gallerists and photographers are really impressed by the professional quality of these books, I think that’s the best way to show and promote my work.
Better than a portfolio?
I think so. Portfolios have a few better qualities, but not the same diffusion and professional look. It gives the chance for everybody to know me.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any new projects on the go at the moment, or anything that you’re planning to do?
Yes, now I’m working on my own body, inspired by Butoh dance again. Butoh dance is a highly expressive dance from Japan, born after the World War II, whose purpose is to show the human being as a whole built by beauty and ugliness, trying to reach the human conscience.
Are you a dancer?
No, but I’ve been in contact with some dancers.
Do you have any more exhibitions planned after the exhibition in Bucharest?
I’m going to Paris and Hamburg this autumn to show my works to several galleries, and then we will see. I hope I’ll have a chance. My goal now is exhibit all over Europe and in the UK too, of course! Then I’ll continue working, making pictures and showing them as much as possible.
Where do you see yourself in a few years time?
I see me in a studio, making pictures. The rest is blurry…but I’ve faith in my work and in my future.
And finally…name your three favourite photographers and explain how they’ve influenced
The photographers I most admire and have influenced my work are Francesca Woodman, Eikoh Hosoe and Robert Mapplethorpe. All them have a sincere speech and I can know them, meet them, when I see their complete work. These people will never die, they live inside their work. They become into it.
All photos © Copyright Germán Peraire. Please contact the photographer for permission to use in any way.