Categories ArtPosted on

Raúl Hidalgo

When I was little I used to grab my parent’s cameras and spend hours playing with them, taking pictures of the family and the things I liked. I could never wait for them to be developed. Photos had some kind of magic, which still fascinates me. Then my brother bought an analog Reflex photo camera (which ended up being my own), and that’s when I started shooting and shooting until today.

How did you get into photography?

When I was little I used to grab my parent’s cameras and spend hours playing with them, taking pictures of the family and the things I liked. I could never wait for them to be developed. Photos had some kind of magic, which still fascinates me. Then my brother bought an analog Reflex photo camera (which ended up being my own), and that’s when I started shooting and shooting until today.

Which are your favourite photographers?

I have so many! But just to mention a few, I’d say Irving Penn, Derek Ridgers, Hedy Slimane, Ryan McGynley, Larry Clark, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, Alice Springs, David Armstrong…

What are you inspired by when creating your photographs?

My biggest inspiration comes from cinema, my other passion. I’m always watching cinema. In particular, I take inspiration from movies by Wim Wenders, Dreyer, Pasolini, Wong Kar Wai, Gus Van Sant, Yasujiro Ozu…

You belong to an artistic duo called WAMS. How did you start working together? Why?

Eduardo Gión is my partner and also my friend. He’s a cinema and theatre director and collaborates with several magazines interviewing artists and writing about art. We met in one of the parties I used to organise in Apolo (a disco in Barcelona). We started talking and soon realised we had lots of things in common, like our passion for cinema and photography. We came up with the idea of starting a blog under the name of wearemonsterstar (WAMS) to photograph and interview the artists and photographers we liked.

At that time, Eduardo was working on the extras of his documentary-movie about Pierrot and he told me he liked my pictures. He proposed that I include some in the DVD and that’s how our first project in common was born. It was an experimental short movie shot in super 8 titled Alquimia del Dolor  (Alchemy of Pain), which was included last year as a permanent piece at the CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona). Eduardo’s latest work is a documentary-movie about Madame Arthur’s life (an iconic travesty from the Golden Ages of the Paralelo Avenue, in the past the core of Barcelona’s nightlife, most known for theatres, cabarets and erotic shows), which I highly recommend.

ALQUIMIA DEL DOLOR from wearemonsterstars on Vimeo.

Most of your portraits are in black and White. Do you prefer this format?

Believe it or not, when I look through the lens I see everything in black and white (he laughs). I feel photography in B&W, I love playing with lights and shadows!

You are based in Barcelona, but you have taken pictures all over the world, like the portraits of photographers Richard Young and Derek Ridgers. What was it like to photograph them?

When I travel I always try to take pictures of great photographers for my project Shot by Shot. During my last trip to London, I had the opportunity to shoot Richard Young, Derek Ridgers and actress Jenny Runacre.

With Richard Young, everything went fast, he only had two hours available before my plane left London, but he was so nice and open that he was really easy to work with. I wish I’d had more time to get to know him a bit better.

Derek is one of my favourite photographers, I have all his books and I was really excited about meeting him. Derek has always fought hard and he’s a very good person, humble, but at the same time, a very strong artist. We had a walk through London and he told me many things about his career, how he started portraying Skinheads in London and the problems he had later on. I ended up taking his portrait in an alley, in the same place he used to shoot many of the young London Punks portrayed in his photographs. It was a fantastic experience!

We see in your work that you like portraits. Have you ever thought of doing fashion photography?

I wish I did more fashion photography, I love fashion! I have already done a couple of things on fashion, and I felt more comfortable than I thought I would. A few days ago I was talking to Eduardo about how much we’d love to do something with Thom Browne. It’d be like a dream come true!

Tell us something about your new projects. What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a movie with Eduardo Gión. We’re putting imagery to the poems of French poet Scribe, the screenwriter of the last Larry Clark movie. It’s shot in super 8 and VHS format, with music composed by my friend Toni Bass and the collaboration of great artists, such as Michael Alig, Bibbe Hansen, and David Croland.

As SEEN magazine is about art, architecture, culture, music, fashion, gastronomy, shopping and entertainment, what are your personal recommendations to our readers of what to do in London, by day or night?

Every time I go to London it’s a different experience. I like to get lost in the city and stroll around. I always end up finding amazing wonders! But I never miss a visit to my favourite museum in the world, the TATE. I also like Bethnal Green to walk around and visit some second-hand stores. I love clubbing and disco music, that’s why I go dancing at the Eagle on Sunday nights, where my friends from HorseMeat Disco organise great parties!

seen london raul hidalgo richard young
RICHARD YOUNG London, 2016
seen london raul hidalgo dereck ridgers
DEREK RIDGERS London, 2016
seen london raul hidalgo ALI MAHDAVI
ALI MAHDAVI Paris, 2014
seen london raul hidalgo BRUCE LABRUCE
seen london raul hidalgo jesus ugalde
JESUS UGALDE Barcelona, 2015
seen london raul hidalgo isabel coixet
ISABEL COIXET Barcelona, 2015
seen london raul hidalgo GREG GORMAN
GREG GORMAN Tarragona, 2015

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