XAVIER MINGUELLA MINGUELLA (Barcelona, 1970)
He obtained his Photography and Visual Techniques Diploma at the Photography and Visual Techniques School in Brussels, 1992 to 1995. From 1990 to 1992 he partially took part in some courses: graphic design at Elisava School, and printing course at Massana School, Barcelona. From 1988 to 1989 he enrolled on an engraving course at the Fine Arts School in Brussels. Back in Barcelona in 1992, he passed the entry test at the Fine Art Faculty.
He stood out as a draughtsman at an early age. In 1991 he was awarded with a special award by “Televisió de Catalunya” at a national photography contest, sponsored by Kodak (Goal: To live profoundly, 1992).
Photo-journalism and social critique are the basis of his photography. He owned a photography establishment in the Belgian capital from 1997 to 2003, where he got immersed in studio photography, portrait and fashion. During this period he also made “Le Grand H” reportage in Les Marolles quarter, where he lived and worked. This reportage shows black & white photographs framing all establishments in the Rue des Renards (a little street connecting rue Blaes and rue Neuve).
He considered himself lucky to meet Cartier-Bresson, with whom he exchanged some words and a letter. He networked with internationally recognized artists, in order to ensure himself a positive path in photo-journalism.
He made a black & white reportage of about 2,000 photographs whilst spending a month in Cuba, at the end of 2001.
He decided to move back to his natal land towards the end of 2003, and settled in his father’s town, Les Borges Blanques. Shortly aftwards he started collaborating with Som Garrigues newspaper, and started exploring the territory.
From 1995 to 2003 he participated in collective and individual exhibitions in Brussels. He moved back to Catalonia 13 years ago, and has since held small exhibitions in selected bars and spaces. He learnt to live without the use of a studio, and adapted himself to reality. That fact had a positive impact when developing fashion related topics by bargaining, or more artistic topics, such as nude and portrait. Despite the financial difficulties of living in a little industrialized area, he has found a way to manage unthinkable projects, using his own resources due to a lack of sponsorship. As he said: ‘’I photograph to make people happy’’. He believes his effort will help changing little aspects of the unfair society we live in.
He has collaborated in numerous occasions with Gregorio Iglesias Mayo, taking those collaborations to Catalunya, as well as to other parts within the Spanish territory. They have also taken their latest collaboration to Germany.
‘I was always the best draughtsman at school and highschool. My technique is the use of the pen and marker -the fact of having studied at Joso’s school (comediant) in Barcelona in the early 80,s influenced my development within the figurative art, making it a kind of Pop Art-. My style’s development took me to draw about social critique, reaching my zenith when moving on to photo-journalism. Although I still draw, I feel passionate for and absorbed by photography.
I feel taking photographs is nevertheless drawing I feel photographing and drawing are still the same, including essence and spontaneity, but where all details are important, not just the obvious ones’.
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Les Borges Blanques, Lleida, Catalonia