De Esteban, Max

Max de Esteban, Barcelona, Spain

Max was born in Barcelona, Spain. He lived and worked in Palo Alto, New York, Madrid and London. In 2009 opened his first stable studio in Barcelona and since then focuses exclusively on personal project-based work.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Propositions, Uno Art Space, Stuttgart, Germany, 2013; Elegies of Manumission, FotoQuartier Gallery, Vienna, Austria, 2013; Proposition One. Festival de la Luz, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2012; Elegies of Manumission, Central European House of Photography, Bratislava, 2012 and Proposition One. Klompching Gallery, New York, USA 2011.

Elegies of Manumission

These photographs are meditations on today’s loss of collective ideals and their retreat to the sphere of individual micro-utopias.
Elegies of Manumission are a collection of 50 portraits of young artists, poets and performers. Disquieting, yet beautiful, these photographs are meditations on today’s loss of collective ideals and their retreat to the sphere of individual micro-utopias.

Organized in series, the first and second series depicts them dressed with their preferred outfit.

The third series, of which I submit three images, shows them nude. The apparent progress in communication and interconnectivity has resulted in an increasingly solitary world where the individual, isolated from meta-stories and collective ideals, feels everywhere and nowhere. The photographs reflect upon the loneliness to which the “last utopians” are condemned by ambitioning, through their artistic practices, the understanding of their real desires and the rejection of the prevalent values of our society.

Among my concerns with Elegies of Manumission are the inadequacy of photographic typology as a means of categorical social record; the revelatory power of the face as the representation of individuality; and the ability of the body to express our shared human nature. The oppressive black space surrounding the images, their dramatic lightning, and their tense structure signify a departure from the currently dominant flat-light, expressionless portraiture.

collections

Museum of Fine Art Houston
Morgenstern (Houston)
Pavia (Rio de Janeiro)
Maloney (Houston)
Boillot (New York)

books

Proposition Three, Spicer House Editions, Spain, March 2013;

Proposition One, Spicer House Editions, Spain, February 2013

Elegies of Manumission, Nazraeli Press, USA, March 2012

links