Chema Madoz: ‘minimalist’ photography with a poetic surreal twist

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The unique style of Spanish photographer Chema Madoz combines a minimalist grammar with a surrealist-like twist that turns everyday objects into unexpected playful micro-universes.

Using a traditional camera, Madoz started experimenting with the intrinsic visual potentialities of objects when taking pictures of people. In his first experiments, objects revealed to be key in opening up ambiguous perceptual tricks. A glass of red wine would become a pubis, just by virtue of the composition.

Soon enough, Madoz realized that he did not need the human being in the picture. He turned his photographic practice to an incessant, imaginative search for the out-of-ordinary language of the most ordinary everyday objects.

Madoz manipulates objects in his studio and assembles them in an unusual way. Although working with very few elements and making use of a minimalist language (elegant and symmetric composition, carefully balanced lighting), the visual universe created by Madoz has nothing of the severe coolness of certain Minimalism. On the contrary, everything is pervaded by an atmosphere of gentle levity.

Thanks to his lightheartedness, two different range of objects can enter into a non conflictual dialogue, where absurdity has no disquieting effects but it rather works as a delicately humorous trigger.

Interviewed by Ana Ibarra Jensen for issue 2 of Elephant magazine, Madoz said : ‘Objects have the same character that words do when you put one next to the other: they contaminate one another and meanings change. I profit from those circumstances.’

Check Chema Madoz‘s website for more of his surreal, ambiguous, humorous visual dialogues.

All images courtesy of Chema Madoz.

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