Juan Manuel
Castro Prieto

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto

biography


Spanish photographer, member of Agence VU’ and represented by Galerie VU’, lives in Madrid (Spain).

A scientist by training and a lover of photography, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto has managed to combine his two passions to become one of the most aware, demanding and subtle photographers in Europe.

After resurrecting the work of thirties portrait photographer, Martin Chambi, by creating prints from glass plates in Cuzco, Prieto developed a passion for Peru. Ten years later, he crossed the country on a “journey to the sun,” where he finely and artistically portrayed his tenderness for the people, the beauty of the landscape, his curiosity for an often unspoiled culture, and the poverty accompanying this condition.

He then grouped together a collection of strange 20-year-old images he had taken of bare landscapes and still lives to explore photography’s limits and better understand light. The resulting effect was a tension between fiction and representation.

His work « Extraños » he published two years later is dominated by four main themes : sex, death, childhood and intimacy. These oneiric black and white pictures show a singular, ambiguous and mysterious world.

Today he mostly works with colour by using the highly personal tonality of Ethiopia and India to create visions that are both mental and based upon a troubling realism, a form of travel, between dream and materiality, like on the delicacy of impossible shades.

Series


Peru, 2020

Series | Juan-Manuel Castro Prieto returns in the heart of remote villages and continues to tell the personal myth that Peru inspires him.

Pachama, the Miners of Bolivia, 2019

Serie | In Bolivia, nestled in the Andes Mountains, the cities of Oruro, Popoó, Uyuni and Potosi are home to many mining dating back to colonial time, that continue to support the inhabitants of a region threatened by poverty.

Facing Ethiopia’s trees, 2017

Series | Trees in East Africa have the characteristic of being a fully-fledged place, a lively place where every generations meet, sheltered from sunshine, to tell stories, work or cook.

Solovki, 2016

Series | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Cespedosa, 1977-2015

Series | Several years after “Diario familiar“, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto dedicated a new serie to Cespedosa, the village of his childhood...

Sète #11, 2011

Series | You might be tempted to call these “Memories of Sète”. For this is in fact what they are: recollections of things that no longer exist and indeed existed only for a few days and nights spent crisscrossing every part of the town in search of…Of what, exactly?

Peru, 2009

Series | Despite Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s long admiration for Martin Chambri, « Perú, viaje al Sol » was a personal, introspective and sensitive work that showed little sign of the Peruvian photographer.

Musée d’Orsay, 2006

Series | Although Juan Manuel Castro Prieto began earning his living as a photographer at the National Archeological Museum of Madrid, the photographs taken at the Musée d’Orsay offer a personal interpretation of a museum environment, of works in situ and of the relationships between spectators.

Ethiopia, 2001-2006

Series | Like Peru, Ethiopia is a veritable obsession for Juan Manuel Castro Prieto who has returned there many times.

Vanuatu, Esperando al cargo, 2005

Series | To the East of Australia, Vanuatu, comprising some 80 islands and better known by its former name of the New Hebrides, has been independent since 1980.

Cuenca en la mirada, 2003-2005

Series | Juan Manuel Castro Prieto criss-crossed the Spanish province, Cuenca, as part of a collective photographic program launch by the Provincial Council of Cuenca in 2004.

La Seda Rota, 2005

Series | La “Seda Rota” brings together photographs of the home of the Madrazo family, a dynasty, now died out, of 19th and 20th century Madrid painters.

Extraños, 1984-2004/03

Serie | “Extraños” shares aspects of “Diario familiar” but also reveals new directions in Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s work.

Perú, viaje al sol, 1990-2000

Series | When he travelled there in 1990 to take some prints from negatives by Martin Chambi, his favorite photographer, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto had already turned Peru into a personal myth that he would never stop exploring.

Peru, 2020

Series | Juan-Manuel Castro Prieto returns in the heart of remote villages and continues to tell the personal myth that Peru inspires him.

Pachama, the Miners of Bolivia, 2019

Serie | In Bolivia, nestled in the Andes Mountains, the cities of Oruro, Popoó, Uyuni and Potosi are home to many mining dating back to colonial time, that continue to support the inhabitants of a region threatened by poverty.

Facing Ethiopia’s trees, 2017

Series | Trees in East Africa have the characteristic of being a fully-fledged place, a lively place where every generations meet, sheltered from sunshine, to tell stories, work or cook.

Solovki, 2016

Series | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Cespedosa, 1977-2015

Series | Several years after “Diario familiar“, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto dedicated a new serie to Cespedosa, the village of his childhood...

Sète #11, 2011

Series | You might be tempted to call these “Memories of Sète”. For this is in fact what they are: recollections of things that no longer exist and indeed existed only for a few days and nights spent crisscrossing every part of the town in search of…Of what, exactly?

Peru, 2009

Series | Despite Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s long admiration for Martin Chambri, « Perú, viaje al Sol » was a personal, introspective and sensitive work that showed little sign of the Peruvian photographer.

Musée d’Orsay, 2006

Series | Although Juan Manuel Castro Prieto began earning his living as a photographer at the National Archeological Museum of Madrid, the photographs taken at the Musée d’Orsay offer a personal interpretation of a museum environment, of works in situ and of the relationships between spectators.

Ethiopia, 2001-2006

Series | Like Peru, Ethiopia is a veritable obsession for Juan Manuel Castro Prieto who has returned there many times.

Vanuatu, Esperando al cargo, 2005

Series | To the East of Australia, Vanuatu, comprising some 80 islands and better known by its former name of the New Hebrides, has been independent since 1980.

Cuenca en la mirada, 2003-2005

Series | Juan Manuel Castro Prieto criss-crossed the Spanish province, Cuenca, as part of a collective photographic program launch by the Provincial Council of Cuenca in 2004.

La Seda Rota, 2005

Series | La “Seda Rota” brings together photographs of the home of the Madrazo family, a dynasty, now died out, of 19th and 20th century Madrid painters.

Extraños, 1984-2004/03

Serie | “Extraños” shares aspects of “Diario familiar” but also reveals new directions in Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s work.

Perú, viaje al sol, 1990-2000

Series | When he travelled there in 1990 to take some prints from negatives by Martin Chambi, his favorite photographer, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto had already turned Peru into a personal myth that he would never stop exploring.

Peru, 2020

Series | Juan-Manuel Castro Prieto returns in the heart of remote villages and continues to tell the personal myth that Peru inspires him.

Pachama, the Miners of Bolivia, 2019

Serie | In Bolivia, nestled in the Andes Mountains, the cities of Oruro, Popoó, Uyuni and Potosi are home to many mining dating back to colonial time, that continue to support the inhabitants of a region threatened by poverty.

Facing Ethiopia’s trees, 2017

Series | Trees in East Africa have the characteristic of being a fully-fledged place, a lively place where every generations meet, sheltered from sunshine, to tell stories, work or cook.

Solovki, 2016

Series | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Cespedosa, 1977-2015

Series | Several years after “Diario familiar“, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto dedicated a new serie to Cespedosa, the village of his childhood...

Sète #11, 2011

Series | You might be tempted to call these “Memories of Sète”. For this is in fact what they are: recollections of things that no longer exist and indeed existed only for a few days and nights spent crisscrossing every part of the town in search of…Of what, exactly?

Peru, 2009

Series | Despite Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s long admiration for Martin Chambri, « Perú, viaje al Sol » was a personal, introspective and sensitive work that showed little sign of the Peruvian photographer.

Musée d’Orsay, 2006

Series | Although Juan Manuel Castro Prieto began earning his living as a photographer at the National Archeological Museum of Madrid, the photographs taken at the Musée d’Orsay offer a personal interpretation of a museum environment, of works in situ and of the relationships between spectators.

Ethiopia, 2001-2006

Series | Like Peru, Ethiopia is a veritable obsession for Juan Manuel Castro Prieto who has returned there many times.

Vanuatu, Esperando al cargo, 2005

Series | To the East of Australia, Vanuatu, comprising some 80 islands and better known by its former name of the New Hebrides, has been independent since 1980.

Cuenca en la mirada, 2003-2005

Series | Juan Manuel Castro Prieto criss-crossed the Spanish province, Cuenca, as part of a collective photographic program launch by the Provincial Council of Cuenca in 2004.

La Seda Rota, 2005

Series | La “Seda Rota” brings together photographs of the home of the Madrazo family, a dynasty, now died out, of 19th and 20th century Madrid painters.

Extraños, 1984-2004/03

Serie | “Extraños” shares aspects of “Diario familiar” but also reveals new directions in Juan Manuel Castro Prieto’s work.

Perú, viaje al sol, 1990-2000

Series | When he travelled there in 1990 to take some prints from negatives by Martin Chambi, his favorite photographer, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto had already turned Peru into a personal myth that he would never stop exploring.

Interviews


The photographer Juan Manuel Castro Prieto is exhibited in Pau
France 3 Aquitaine

2018

The Spanish photographer Juan Manuel Castro Prieto exhibits his photographs of Ethiopia and Peru at the Parvis of Pau. A long-term project based on the view camera.

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto at the PICA Photo Espana
PICA Photo Espana

2016

Conference given by Juan Manuel Castro Prieto at the PICA Photo Espana.

South America/ Caribbean : Juan Manuel Castro Prieto
France Culture

2012

“Trained as a scientist, Juan Manuel Castro Prieto first became known for his demanding and subtle mastery of photographic printing: a meticulous and patient work”.

Multimedia


Solovki, 2019

Multimedia Products | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Solovki, 2019

Multimedia Products | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Solovki, 2019

Multimedia Products | The imposing walls of the Solovetski monastery stand on the Solovki islands, in the calm waters of the White Sea in northwest Russia.

Exhibitions


Portugal, Renaître de ses cendres

Festival Photo La Gacilly, France

From the 1st of June to the 30th of September 2019

Solovki

Centro de Arte Alcobendas, Madrid, Espagne

From the 22th of May to the 24th of August 2019

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto

Le Parvis, Pau, France

From the 17th of November 2018 to the 19th of January 2019

Books


Cespedosa

Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte / Aera de Cultura / Auht’Spirit - 2016

Sète#11

CéTàVOIR & Images En Manoeubre Editions - 2011

Cespedosa

Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte / Aera de Cultura / Auht’Spirit - 2016

Sète#11

CéTàVOIR & Images En Manoeubre Editions - 2011

Cespedosa

Ministerio de Educacion, Cultura y Deporte / Aera de Cultura / Auht’Spirit - 2016

Sète#11

CéTàVOIR & Images En Manoeubre Editions - 2011

AWARDS


Prize National of Photography
Spain

For his whole photographic career

2015

Photography Prize of the Comunidad de Madrid
Spain

For his whole photographic career

2003

Prize Bartolomé Ros – PHotoEspana
Spain

For his whole photographic career

2002

Prize Cesar Vallejo
Spain

For his work on Peru

2001