The Color Work of Spanish Photographer Cristóbal Hara
“Perhaps the two main factors that allowed me to definitely cross over to color, in 1985," writes photographer Cristóbal Hara, were the realization that I could find guidance in the great tradition of Spanish painting, and the decision to have the entire image in focus; the latter forced me to use a shorter focal length (28mm) than I normally used and it made it necessary to widen the field of vision on which I was working. I no longer reacted to a situation that was in front of me, but rather to the visual rhythms of a situation in which I was immersed. So easy, and yet so complicated.
I had been working for 17 years in black and white when I started working exclusively in color. I was then 39 years old. Suddenly I felt very comfortable, liberated and euphoric. The colors dazzled and overwhelmed me, they reacted with each other, everything vibrated and I felt enveloped by color and its possibilities. The intensity of this first experience progressively declined but I regained the enthusiasm and dedication that I had almost lost after so many years of frustration.”
Spanish Colour 1985-2020, published in 2021 by Plague Press, represented an important milestone in the renowned photographer's bibliography, and thus in the history of photobook publishing, to which the author has contributed with one of the most emblematic works of the last decades. Edited and sequenced by the author, this book gathered photographs that already form part of the Spanish photographic imaginary, a country that has always had serious difficulties to discern between being and appearing, a transcendental ontological question that, in the Spanish case, has become idiosyncratic.