Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, a historic figure in Spanish photography as well as in Galerie VU’, has built up an infinitely rich body of work over the course of his forty-year career. A master of printing and shooting, he uses his technical virtuosity to create a sensitive and introspective plastic universe.
There is an undeniably obsessive dimension to Manuel Castro Prieto’s photography, a constant quest to reveal the disquieting strangeness, beyond the simple appearances of the banality of daily life. His dreamlike and mysterious images are as many spaces of photographic and perceptive experimentation, where the metaphysics of the relationship to reality of the photograph as of the author is played out. Memory, the passage of time, the precariousness of things and beings, myths and symbols, are all questions that pierce his work and can be found in this new exhibition, which brings together three series that have never before been exhibited in France.
Based on a phrase from Ecclesiastes, Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas (Vanity of vanities, all is vanity), Juan Manuel Castro Prieto composes an ensemble exploring the transience of existence, the fragility of memory and the deterioration of the territory. These photographs with a golden glow, imbued with disquieting mysteries, allow us to discover the depths of his dreams. Through his powerful and delicate works, which are so many transfigurations of reality, it is clear that Juan Manuel Castro Prieto practices photography as a seer, it is for him as much a way to see the world as to look into himself.