Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, premio Nacional de Fotografía
Fuente de la noticia

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto (Madrid, 1958) has been awarded with the National Photography Prize. The news of this award,  caught the photographer giving a lecture in Valparaiso (Chile). Castro Prieto has said by phone that "this recognition means that what you have done, somehow, it is worth it". "It is gratifying to recognize an effort of 38 years taking pictures," he added.

The jury of the prize worth 30,000 euros has recognized the "remarkable contribution to the Spanish photography in content and aesthetics" of Castro Prieto. This author "has innovated and transformed the traditional photographic language, from a personal perspective. He achieves to construct images that explore the latent memory traces. His work underlines dream and literary aspects of daily life and distant sceneries, creating a unique and original universe ", the statement of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.


Castro Prieto, who studied to be a economist, took up photography as an autodidact in 1977, looking at pictures and reading books, influenced mainly by the work of authors like Gabriel Cualladó and Paco Gómez, members of the so-called School of Madrid who had begun in the fifties. "Photography appeared in my life and made me mad," he said in an interview with this newspaper in May 2009 regarding his passion for this medium. In his long career of four decades he has been honored with other awards such as Bartolomé Ros (2002), which grants PhotoEspaña; the Community of Madrid Award (2003) and César Vallejo in Peru (2003).

Precisely the Andean country, from whom he fell in love reading the adventures of Tintin, is key to the work of  Castro Prieto. In 1990 he traveled to Cuzco to develop the photographs by Peruvian artist Martin Chambi with Juan Manuel Diaz Burgos. His book Perú, viaje al sol (2001) was born of the successive stays in the country of Martin Chambi, which became popular in Spain thanks to Castro Prieto who call him the "Rembrandt of photography". Castro Prieto ran through the same scenarios that had immortalized the artist between the twenties and seventies of last century and portrayed the world of indigenous families, weddings and portraits. The images of that work later became an exhibition that toured Spain, France, Belgium, Italy, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

In 2012, and after more than 20 years with his workshop, Castro Prieto decided to give a new look to his premises next to Gran Vía in Madrid to transform it in Auth 'Spirit, a place that smells of developer and fixer and shares the space to hold meetings with great photographers. It is a place where art lovers can buy photo books, have a coffee or attend courses.

Other outstanding exhibitions of Castro Prieto have been Extraños (2003), in Madrid Canal de Isabel II; VU 'à Orsay (2007) in Paris; Ethiopia (Teatro Fernan Gomez de Madrid), in 2009; Martin Chambi and the traveling-Peru-Castro Prieto (2011). He has also worked for the Paris Museum d'Orsay or the film director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Biutiful (2009). Today is embarking on a personal project on memory called Cespedosa .

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