Blog posts tagged ‘valencia’ - for Picture Tags click here


Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Sadly it seems that a combination of the rapidly changing marketplace for photographic services and the tailspin that has taken control of the Spanish economy has caused the sudden closure of my local professional lab, BN Profesional in Valencia.

Known to many simply as ByN, the Spanish acronym for B&W or Black and White, this lab had been the prime professional resource in Valencia for many years, and I have been a client since February 2002 when I moved to the city. Obviously B&W processing, which had once – judging by the name – been the main business, had diminished in importance over the years. I sometimes got the impression that I was the only old-school customer they had left. But the company had invested heavily in digital output. They could produce the huge colour prints so beloved by galleries these days, but also even larger prints for the commercial market.

A company that was looking to the future, then. So what went wrong? Who knows. All I can tell you is that after a few days calling and getting an engaged signal I visited the place on Monday. The familiar office had the appearance of a place rapidly vacated. The piles of papers always on the desks had been knocked over, display stands upset, that sort of thing. It wasn’t as if the place had been trashed exactly, just that the occupiers had left in a hurry. The security shutter hadn’t even been pulled down.

Meantime I’ve been digging out my old dev tank and trying to track down a photo shop that still stocks chemicals.

Galeria Paz y Comedias

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Had a good meeting with Teresa and Laureano at Galeria Paz y Comedias in Valencia on Thursday.

First of all, this is a beautiful gallery. In these days, when galleries try to make themselves resemble a white cube as much as possible, it’s refreshing to find a gallery that allows the beauty of the building to come through. It’s located on the second floor of a stunning Valencian art nouveau apartment building which has the trademark mosaic tile floors intact.

Galeria Paz y Comedias is a unique space

This must be troublesome on occasion when it comes to selecting work that won’t fight with the decor, but works brilliantly for most shows.

Teresa Legarre, gallery owner and curator, was also a breath of fresh air. She was appalled by my Spanish, of course, but very helpful, knowledgeable, and frank. I can only sympathise with her when it comes to navigating her way around modern photography, with it’s huge digital prints using size and colour to overcome deficiencies in structure and composition.

We left with a good feeling that the gallery understood what I was doing, which is rare enough, and that we should be able to work together at some point in the future.

The Themed Exhibition

Monday, March 30th, 2009

We visited a great gallery on Friday – one that even showed interest in my kind of work – so the prospect of a show comes closer. The next question is: What to show?

My last project, volume one of The Constant Eye, was more of a retrospective, I suppose. I had hoped that the strength of my point of view coupled with a particular technique would provide a theme in itself, but I fear the world isn’t ready to accept this! So, subject matter rules, and I should probably do a show on a single subject.

The obvious subject is Bulls. I’ve been taking pictures of the fiestas in eastern Spain that involve bulls running through the streets of the small villages for a couple of years now, see this post, and certainly have enough pics to chose from for a good show.

Another day, another gallery opening

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

The gallery in question this evening was Galeria Kessler-Battaglia in Valencia, and a great evening it was. The exhibition was Sergi Cambrils “Historias Cocinadas”, a collection of delicately executed drawings/collages/paintings, full of wit and beauty.

The best thing, though, was the friendliness of the gallery hosts who, in stark contrast to the last gallery, offered us wine and chatted with us in a mixture of three languages, telling us about the work and the gallery itself. Truly refreshing and well worth the time it took for us to visit the place.

It’s quite amazing the difference a bit of hospitality makes to ones appreciation of an exhibition. Actually, it’s not that amazing. It’s common sense. What’s amazing is that so many gallerists fail to appreciate this basic fact.

Needless to say, when it comes to my next exhibition, I’ve no doubt which approach I’ll prefer.

Gallery opening like Coventry

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

Some galleries are really extraordinary. The last opening we were invited to, at a gallery in Valencia that shall, for the moment, remain anonymous, was a typical example.

The two of us wondered in past someone leaning nonchalantly in the doorway holding a plastic cup half full of wine, and who didn’t even glance at me as I passed, into a very good little gallery space – quite small, but well finished and lit. There must have been about a dozen other folk there, clutching their plastic cups. We wandered about, had a look at the 5 or 6 pieces in the show (which were not bad, but included a couple of very large digital photographs that I can only describe as conceptual). This took us about 15 minutes.

Then we stood around, waiting for the gallerist – or the artist – to come and introduce themselves, tell us what it was about. Or at least offer us a plastic cup of cheap fizz. Nothing. Not even did anyone acknowledge us.

What’s up with these folk? What do they have a gallery for? To show and sell work? Or is it just some kind of toy, like a dolls house where they can re-arrange things and invite their friends to have a look?

We gave them another five minutes to notice us, and then left. Clearly nobody expects to sell any work from this gallery at any rate.

Good black and white printers

Monday, February 16th, 2009

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find good black and white printers – I mean people who stand in darkrooms with their fingers in chemicals, not plastic boxes that sit on your desk. I have used Robin Bell in Fulham, who is of course great, but I could really do with someone more close by. In Valencia for instance.

What happened to all those people who spent their lives producing good B&W prints? Have they all retired?