“Fantasías at el Prado” to be exhibited at Santander

The Gamazo Wearhouse of ENAIRE Foundation in Santander (Spain) host the exhibition “Fantasies at el Prado” by the spanish photographer Alberto García-Alix, from June 15th to September 24th 2023. The exhibition is the result of four years of intermittent visits to the Prado Museum (2018-2021) in which García -Alix decides to create his own imaginary from the paintings that houses the museum. To do this, he used the technique of multiple exposures on analog film, thus managing to reinterpret some of Prado’s masterpieces, create phantasmagorias, give mystery, tension and movement to the paintings, and flesh and breath to the sculptures. “Each painting is a world. And as such, I have taken it to invent and build a new one.”

García-Alix, ENAIRE Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award 2022, says that he has looked in communication with history, politics and art: “I have appropriated time, light and brushstrokes. I have taken those of their authors. Those of Goya to repaint his half-buried dog, those of Velázquez to remake Las Meninas, I have veiled the Gioconda under a terrorist stain of white paint, I have taken over Rubens’s frenzy to capture what he did not dare to paint in his time, and I have self-portraited myself with a beast mask thanks to the help of Rosa Bonheur… Nothing is valuable, or comparable to the emotion I have felt working with the paintings”.

The trigger to start this project arose in 2017 with the commission of two photographs by Fundación de Amigos del Museo del Prado to commemorate the Bicentennial of the museum. “Twelve photographers were entrusted with our own interpretation, a look in intimate visual communication with El Prado,” says García-Alix. “Once the work was finished -he adds-, I was still fascinated by the photographic dialogue that I could find in many of the works, so I decided to continue, on a personal basis and with the permission of the museum, my photographic hunt through el Prado”.

The photographer’s fascination with El Prado Museum began as a child, together with his siblings, when his mother, a Philosophy and Letters teacher, took them for a walk through the museum’s rooms and taught them about the history and technique behind each work. Those visits left their mark on him, being today an avid reader and great connoisseur of Spanish history, in addition to considering El Prado as the best photography school there can be, especially portraiture. Among his favourites, those made by Antonio Moro for the Duchess of Feria and María Tudor, works that he has included in this new photographic series and that captivate him by the gaze of their protagonists, the placement of light, and the position of bodies and hands that the painter gave them.

Fantasies at El Prado by Alberto García-Alix


Venue: Naves de Gamazo (Santander, Spain)

Date: June 15 th to September 24th 2023

Organizes: ENAIRE Foundation

Curated by Angeles Imaña

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