PHotoEspaña 2009 Awards

You can read the details of the PHotoEspaña 2009 Awards on their web page (in English) but the two major awards, the PHotoEspaña Baume & Mercier 2009 Award went to Malick Sidibé (Mali, 1935 or 6), and the  Bartolome Ros Award to Spanish photographer Isabel Muñoz, born in Barcelona in 1951 and based in Madrid.

 Malick Sidibé

I’ve written on several occasions about Sidibé who has become deservedly well-known over recent years and last year was  given the 2008 ICP Infinity Lifetime Achievement award. He opened his portrait studio in Bamako in 1962 and among his other awards are the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2003. Lensculture has some pictures by Sidibé, and a transcription of an interview with him.   Hacklebury  also has a selection of his pictures and a brief biography while the Jack Shainman Gallery have an installation view of one of his shows and some works in their frames.

Isabel Muñoz

What strikes me immediately about the work of Isabel Muñoz, which you can see on her web site (her projects are under the link ‘La Obra‘, but ‘Making Off‘ throws some light on her methods) is both the precision of her black and white work, but also its enormous theatricality. It’s work that I admire greatly, but perhaps it sometimes leaves me a little cold.

There is also a gallery of her pictures from Ethiopia on LensCulture, as well as ten minutes (plus three)  of her in conversation with Jim Casper – another of his often revealing interviews (needs Quicktime – unfortunately QuickTime Plugin, v7.1 is blocked by Firefox 3  on Windows. ” Reason: remote code execution in multiple versions” so I had to switch to Internet Explorer – and presumably take a a risk!)  Muñoz talks in some detail about the subjects of her pictures and working with them.  She works on medium format, making large digital negatives (thanks to Dan Burkholder‘s methods) for platinum prints as well as normal silver prints.  In Ethiopia she also used a digital camera and made colour prints – and found the digital camera gave her a different relationship with her subjects.

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