Ahead of His Time: Ciuco Gutierrez and His Provocative Photography

 All images taken by Franger Jacobo

All images taken by Franger Jacobo

Ciuco Gutierrez is a very accomplished contemporary artist and photographer based in Madrid. The first time I saw his work two years ago at Galeria My Name is Lolita in Madrid, I stopped to admire one of his pieces from the “Dessert” series for a longer period of time than I usually stare at any given artwork. His use of color, photo composition, the irony of some of his pieces and in some cases, the purity of his subjects, turned me into an immediate fan. It was only natural that I went after Ciuco ever since I knew I was traveling to Madrid and he gladly agreed to my visiting his studio. 

 Ciuco in his studio in Madrid

Ciuco in his studio in Madrid

 In Ciuco's studio with a piece called "The Men of the War" behind me. 

In Ciuco's studio with a piece called "The Men of the War" behind me. 

Ciuco is smart and calm, full of knowledge and stories to tell. He is the director of the Masters in Art and Conceptual Photography at the EFTI in Madrid , and his work has been shown in galleries and museums around the world including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Fundacion Caixa in Barcelona, Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, the Museo de Bellas Artes of Santander, the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago, Maison des Arts Georges Pompidou in Cajarc, France and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Marseille, France among many others.  He also writes and is a frequent contributor to newspapers and magazines in Spain.

Maria-Brito_Ciuco-Gutierrez-12.jpg

And, Gutierrez is a man totally ahead of his time. He started photographing objects ranging from tiny plastic toys to cake decorations more than 30 years ago. Before Vik Muniz was Vik Muniz, Ciuco was already photographing dolls and colorful objects (Ciuco must be tired of the comparisons and although neither Vik not Ciuco knew about the work of the other when they started using photography as their main medium, it's undeniable that their work shares many elements).

 From the "Desserts" series, this photo was taken in Fuerteventura, Spain.

From the "Desserts" series, this photo was taken in Fuerteventura, Spain.

 From the "Desserts" series, this photo was taken in El Cairo.

From the "Desserts" series, this photo was taken in El Cairo.

Ciuco is immensenly versatile, and as part of his 2008 “Dessert” series he shows the world how flexible he could be with his camera.  In this particular body of work, magnificent compositions created out of manipulated images whose base are photographs taken by Ciuco in places as remote as El Cairo or Beijing are somehow turned into imaginary living rooms where a superimposed chandelier on top of the image, almost gives each piece it's own source of electric power.

 This piece is called "Wedding Night" and it evokes the expectation and excitement of newlyweds sharing their first night together after the wedding. 

This piece is called "Wedding Night" and it evokes the expectation and excitement of newlyweds sharing their first night together after the wedding. 

 Love this piece from the "accumulation" series. 

Love this piece from the "accumulation" series. 

Ciuco's photographs fall in that category of art that I could recommend to several of my clients and also the type of photography that I could happily incorporate in my own collection. His pieces please the eye, engage the brain, connect with the soul and are open to interpretation. That’s the type of art I’m always after, clearly Ciuco checks all the boxes for me.

 Sad to leave Ciuco and sunny Madrid.

Sad to leave Ciuco and sunny Madrid.