Jordi Gual – Untitled (200X)
I have posted one of Gual’s photos before. I’d link to it except after Tumblr’s NSFW schism, Google searches are no help in tracking down previous comment anymore. (And they were never exactly steller, if we’re honest.)
It doesn’t much matter. The post–as I recall–was not able to provide attribution for this photo. At the time, I posted it because I admired the subject’s fashion sense (being similar to my own with an emphasis on comfort and sumptuously soft textures).
I still love the photo. In fact, it’s grown on me since I last saw it.
Now, as I’m re-encountering it in the context of proper attribution I’m a little unnerved at how prescient my reaction was to the work.
See: Jordi Gual is an analog photographer born, raised and residing in Spain. His work focuses on his family–his wife and his two daughters, predominantly.
His oldest daughter, Natalia, was born blind. She is the subject of the photo I posted previously and it appears to be she who is the focus of the upper five photos here.
Beyond traces of his work work that are still floating around the digital aether, he doesn’t seem to have an online presence. That’s unfortunate. He’s not as technically accomplished as someone like say Patricio Suraez; and he’s no more effective at creating moody portraits than some pretentious jack ass hipster shooting in B&W because it’s ‘artsier’; however, what he does have in goddamn spades is a preternatural knack for facilitating unsettled tension.
What little is left of his work on-line sports all sorts of folks imposing their reactions to the work as it’s impetus–oh, it’s ‘sinister’, ‘disturbing’ or ‘sad’. I–for one–reject such facile efforts to pin the work under the viewers finger.
Even I referred to the work as ‘unsettled’ but that was an effort not to project my own view onto the work merely point to the thing about it which I think is crucial and absolutely vital in a way that few things being made these days have even the vaguest ability to imagine in their wildest dreamings: Gual feels like a madman architect who builds ornate structures on shifting sands. He’s studied the sands enough to know that what he builds will stand the test of time but acknowledges that the shape can be–ultimately–maleable beyond his control. In effect, he is walling off an sort of dialogue the viewer can have with any sort of notion of the image being a decisive moment; instead, the viewer is given a moment that is unknowable with regards to any definitive resolution.
I don’t know really know how to say it any better than that but if you understand what I’m pointing toward and squint a bit, you’ll likely start to discern the outline. Even if you don’t, this is some extremely next level shit right here. I hope this guy is still shooting because the B&W stuff of his that you can still find is exquisite and his color work (1 & 2) is also fucking stunning.