Eugenio Recuenco was born in Madrid in 1968 and graduated with a degree in painting from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Pursuing photography, he began collaborating with fashion magazines such as Vogue Espana, GQ, View, Madame Figaro, Vogue UK, Vanity Fair and Kult in Spain and Paris in the context of campaigns for brands like Diesel, Wilkinson or Nina Ricci. Eugenio Recuenco produced his first advertising piece in Paris for Boucheron, and since has become one of the most highly sought after young artists in the advertising and luxury fashion industry. Eugenio Recuenco’s fresh take on high fashion is rich in cinematic drama and emotive impulse. With other-worldly narratives, his complex signature style uses elaborate handmade scenery and contains multiple references to art history and film. With a sensibility towards light and dark, concept and drama, his work is reminiscent and yet transcends the grand masters of Spanish classical painting like Goya, El Greco and Zurbarán. As a director, his elaborate, detailed and cinematic style have brought him much praise and won him many awards and an expansive client base including Loewe, Mango, Chivas Regal, Vanderbilt and Motorola. In addition to that, Recuenco was hired as Art Director for the opera “Les Huguenots” at the Richard B. Fisher Center in New York. Henceforth the artist began to produce spots, campaigns and short films as well as to create documentaries and music videos for many bands such as Rammstein’s Mein Herz brennt. Eugenio Recuenco received numerous awards for his body of work. His works are a regular part of solo and group exhibitions. Eugenio Recuenco lives and works in Madrid and is considered one of the most significant contemporary photo artists.
1. Do you see yourself as a Figure of Photography ?
Eugenio Recuenco : Not at first glance. Every so often I receive an encouraging message via Internet from people that like my photographs, but from that to seeing myself as a figure in photography…
2. How would you describe your style ?
Eugenio Recuenco : Initially, I don’t have a predetermined visual style. I think that my style is better understood when seen as a collection of photographs. It comes from a position in a game and as a question to the spectator from the inside of the photograph “outward”. That positioning changes aesthetically with time; but the liberty to question everything, remains intact. I think that my photographs question themselves with time and that makes them mutate in style, and I with them. They are a reflection of an interior need; not a stylistic formula.
Eugenio Recuenco : I started painting and began incorporating photographs in my work and finally they became stronger than the pieces themselves.
4. How do you manage to bring this whimsical, magical and poetic atmosphere into your work ?
Eugenio Recuenco : By being free to not think about what the public or client wants to see. I try to have fun in each project and for that you need to go out of what you see daily. That poetic world only answers when looking at reality in a different way: sometimes with optimism imagining better worlds and sometimes with criticism to what surrounds us, but always trying to not be explicit nor hurtful towards the image. Important and difficult things can be said from beauty and tenderness.
5. Does the use of a camera give you a particular power to hide yourself and do things you would never dare ?
Eugenio Recuenco : Of course, the camera can be a safeguard to freely fuse many things of which, generally, you dare not speak of. And when I travel with it, it is like a shield that allows me to enter the most unexpected corners and those that I could never access. It gives much confidence; it is interesting what you’re willing to do for a photograph in contrast with how quickly we would abandon the same if it were only for a personal matter.
6. Your photography is not very far from Rodney Smith’s or Tim Walker’s: can we talk of a movement or an influence ?
Eugenio Recuenco : I admire them a lot. I have the weakness of liking a lot more the work of everyone else than my own. I would love to take photos like theirs, but not to be them, rather to feel what leads to carrying it out in that way. What I like most is learning. But Internet is full of great “anonymous” photographers. I’m not sure if it is a movement; I think it is more of a coincidence of persons that work in very different places trying to convey a certain poetry, each in their own way. It seems that one thing that unites us is honesty in our photos. I think that we do what we believe we ought to do, we don’t follow trends and the changes that we endure are due more to interior necessity than to market demands. Visually we are very different, but I like being associated with them. It is an honour.
7. Your work is inspired by Literature, Painting and Cinema: which artists made a deep impression on you ?
Eugenio Recuenco : Daily, if you walk with really open eyes, you can find many things that inspire. Among the noblest are the ones you mention, but there are many things. Newspapers, conversations…
Eugenio Recuenco : I think that time will tell. Today the market decides what is profitable; time decides what is good.
9. What are your future plans ?
Eugenio Recuenco : Two very important projects are about to wrap up. On one hand, a photography project “365” in which I have been involved in for over five years and that I hope to finish shooting in July and to have it seen worldwide in 2017, in all five continents through 12 expositions that we are preparing. On the other hand, I’m finishing an audio-visual project of a short “La Segunda Derrota” or the Second Defeat, completely financed through crowd funding and in which I’m truly invested. It’s a beautiful, timeless story that speaks of war journeys for ideology or for any other cause. It’s a reason to delve into human psychology and examine how far conviction leads us to our own perdition and how we are willing to fight when hope is lost. The relativity of things; loneliness; and the confrontation with ourselves without anything decorating our existence.
The difficulty of nature when we are caught in its betrayal and its savagery image when it shows itself in full beauty and splendour before our misfortune; laughing at our own human conditions that thinks itself superior. It is based on a great text, “Manuscrito Encontrado en el Olvido” or the Manuscript Found in Forgetfulness that is included in the book “Los Girasoles Ciegos” or the Blind Sunflowers of Alberto Mendez. It’s a very poetic text that narrates a truly difficult story. And that conflict between nature and man; between poetry and history; between beauty and cruelty that exudes from the text drew my attention. In this movie, I’ve worked with wonderful professionals that are also friends and that have come together for this project. I think that it is formally very different from my photographs, but it couldn’t be any other way. The same intent is there, but having changed the language, the form inevitably changes. You can see it all in www.losgirasolesciegos_eugeniorecuenco.com and I encourage you all to help us make this dream a reality.
More about Eugenio Recuenco : www.eugeniorecuenco.com
More about “Los Girasoles Ciegos” : www.losgirasolesciegos_eugeniorecuenco.com