NEW YORK – Spanish filmmaker and director Pedro Almodovar presented on Tuesday his first photo exhibition in New York and claimed he relived the feeling of being a debutant.
“Everything is new because it has just begun, and I have just begun as a photographer. This feeling of starting off with something is very thrilling,” Almodovar told EFE in an interview at the inauguration of his show at the Marlborough Gallery in Manhattan.
The reception, however, made it evident that Almodovar was not a rookie in the world of art. He was received in the gallery by a large number of enthusiastic fans, who surrounded him at all times, looking for a selfie or an autograph.
The exhibition, which will go on until June 29, consists of 25 still-life pictures depicting colorful jars and withered flowers.
“Withered flowers are more photogenic. (...) I feel they have more dynamism than fresh flowers,” said the Spanish filmmaker explaining his unusual preference. “For me they are more full of life.”
Almodovar’s exhibition is called “Waiting For The Light” as it is exactly what he has had to do, at a nook of his house, before he could start shooting from his camera.
Next to his work desk, he narrated, he has a small table where he keeps jars, flowers and other objects and waits for the right time of the day for the perfect light.
“There is a moment, every day it’s different, (...) when there is an amazing light with the objects that I have put. And I make the best use of this light,” said Almodovar, adding that this moment serves to break his flow of writing that he is usually immersed in, and serves as an opportunity for “mental rest and relaxation.”
The stills in “Waiting For The Light,” taken mostly in 2018 and 2019, not only cites the realism of painters from Madrid such as Antonio Lopez Garcia and Isabel Quintanilla, but also draws inspiration from certain techniques used by popular British painter David Hockney.
This influence is especially visible in the use of vibrant and intense hues, and the use of colors to create divisions in the background of the compositions.
Although Almodovar is well known in the world of cinema – on Monday, he attended an event organized by the Film Society of Lincoln Center to give a speech on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the institution –, he was aware of the fact that he is still a novice in the world of photography.
“As a photographer I started just two years ago, during Holy Week two years ago, and the first thing I did was still lives in my kitchen with the kitchen socket without putting away anything, exactly as it was,” said the filmmaker of hits such as “Todo Sobre mi Madre” and “Hable Con Ella” (Talk to Her).
It was during this initial phase that the owner of the Marlborough galleries, who has a space in Madrid, proposed the idea of taking Almodovar’s work to New York, where the filmmaker claimed that he “for the first time felt like an intruder.”
“I’m a newbie and to make your debut in Marlborough is to start on top,” he confessed, adding that he felt very thrilled with his first show in New York.
“Maybe it is also the last one,” he joked before once again returning to his crowd of admirers.