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Interview with Miguel Soler-Roig
Born in Barcelona and influenced by the current of Bahaus and the new Swiss typographic style, he studied at the School of Art in Basel and completed a Master of Arts at the School of Design at Rodhe Islandin Providence. After living and working in New York, Soler-Roig studied a Master´s Degree in Art Photography at the IED in Madrid and several international photography workshops.
His work has been exhibited in such prestigious centers as RISD Museum of Art, Providence; Arsenale of Venice; Valentín de Madariaga Foundation, Seville; Antonio Pérez Foundation, Cuenca; PhotoEspaña, Madrid; Cultural Center of Jesús, Ibiza; National Museum of Photography, Huete y Reial Cercle Artistic, Barcelona. In his latest exhibitions we can find: “Out of Silence” Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston; Emma Molina Gallery, México; Blanca Berlín Gallery, Madrid; Photo London, London; Paris Photo, J.P. Morgan Chase Collection; Lianzhou Festival, China; “Logical Ambiguities” Being3 Gallery, Beijing; “Atlantis & Posidonia” Cultural Center of Jesús, Ibiza.
He has received Awards as: Finalist Passport Prize Surreal Photography (2017); Finalist Ibero-American Award NexoFoto (2014); Finalist Arte Laguna Art Prize (2013); MoCA Italy, Venice; Honorable Mention PhotoEspaña ABSOLUT (2013).
– Why did you become an artist? How did you discover your vocation? From a very young age I had artistic interests: drawing, painting, photography… since I grew up with the art in my family. Dedicating myself to art was something totally natural, a vocation that I felt inside of me from the beginning.
I studied Arts in Basel and one of the subjects I chose was Photography, with which I experimented by making photograms as an artistic expression. I lived a very enriching time, the 80s, in which I absorbed the most avant-garde cultural movements. I also worked in serigraphy and typography, expanding the possibilities of the image through collages, using large orthographic film.
– How do you inspire yourself to take works? In my daily life, my travels, my cultural activity, my intellectual interests… First I focus on a topic and, from there, I carry out a deep study before do it. I analyze the conceptual aspects to structure a coherent discourse and, later, I look for the best way to translate it into the aesthetic level.
– What do you want to express with your work? With each job I have different interests and I try to provoke different reactions in the viewer.
– What is photography for you? I understand photography as a tool for the development of my artistic creativity.
– What artists have influenced you who do you admire? They are innumerable, classic and contemporary, I would like to name: Praxiteles, Durer, Picasso, Dali, Man Ray, Fernand Léger, Irving Penn, Edward Weston, Gregory Crewdson, Joan Fontcuberta, Mona Kuhn, Ryan Mcginley… to name a few.
– How is the process of your works, I mean, how do you come to materialize the idea that you have? From the previous research, I analyze and evaluate different possibilities of materialization. In each series I adapt to some needs: sometimes I work with people and others I focus on spaces or objects to arrive at a final image very worked, at conceptual and technical level.
– What is your favorite work? Do you haveyour favorite photographs exposed in your home? I couldn’t choose one favorite work, although I am fascinated by José María Sert’s murals, “American Progress” located in the lobby of the Rockefeller Center in New York.
Yes, I have some of my works hanging in my house, but most of them are from other artists that I have been collecting for years.
– What is the first thing you check when you look through the lens? The composition and light in the image, but feel the moment too. If you look and don´t see, it is very difficult to take a photograph; if you look and don´t feel, it is impossible to make a good photograph, but if you feel it is possible to take a photograph without looking.
– What do you consider a good work? What should it transmit? The one that aesthetically captures the concept worked by the artist. It should transmit a reaction in the spectator, something that makes questions and provokes a feeling or concern.
– What has been your biggest artistic challenge? I exposed to different challenges and I always try to take advantage of unique, unlikely and unrepeatable situations. From my participation in the exhibition of the 20th anniversary of Paris Photo in the JP Morgan Collection, to a trip to one of the most remote regions of Tibet, to hear the first words of a Lama who had been taking a vow of silence for three years.
I live the moments while I take photographs that sometimes reflect what I want to live. My curiosity has benefited me many times. I continue discovering new things every day… I see beauty in the most unexpected moments and places. Also in the eyes of the most unexpected person.
– Is there any work that you would have liked to make and you couldn’t? There are some people with whom I would have liked to work and I haven´t been able to because they are not here. This is the case of my series with the avant-garde of the early twentieth century, in which I recreate characters such as Isadora Duncan, Tamara de Lempika, Pablo Picasso, José María Sert, Peggy Guggenheim, etc.
– How did you carry out the pieces exhibited in Espai París? These are photographs taken in the water, a environment that always attracted me. During many summers in Ibiza I had the opportunity to dive in different corners of the island, which led me to find the ideal spaces to photograph under water. The images are made exclusively with natural light in a part of the island with no visible background. There the optimum conditions for the incidence of reflected light are given, through a specific rock that acts as a screen.
– Finally, what advice would you give people who are starting in the world of art? They should observe and experience a lot. They must investigate and have patience, continue working being always faithful to their intuition.
Many thanks to Miguel Soler-Roig for letting us know more about him and thank you for letting us enjoy his work Ondas Ingrávidas in our Gallery Store – Espai París. Next, we will show you some of his pieces and exhibitions, we hope you to enjoy it!