Berenice Riu pursuits traces of visual harmony in her imageries, telling her own stories through little pieces.
I’m answering this interview shortly after editing the last pending photo of the Celestials series. Celestials is a photographic series I created with Javier Gamonal (several pieces have won gold medals in these awards). This particular piece is called Constellation.
In Constellation, brightly colored gems can be seen on a woman’s bare shoulder. They are connected to each other by a dashed line. If you notice, one of the gems carefully adheres over an «imperfection» in the model’s skin.
The image depicts the scars that the passage of time leaves on the skin. And if you know how to understand the metaphor, also on our personality. Constellation tells us that the wounds of body and soul are part of our experiences and, therefore, of who we are.
It says it out loud, colorfully and brightly, and visually celebrates it. The line that connects them, however, has deeply marked strokes, as if the paint had been squeezed too tightly (the effect is done in postproduction to avoid damaging the model). This is where the pain suffered, and the effort made along the way, is told. The background universe reinforces the metaphor.
I am more of a visual artist than a photographer. I create images to express ideas, which I achieve through photography. I create intentional and carefully thought-out images.
Working as an art director kept me in constant contact with photography. I had already imagined concepts, assembled sets, and edited images, so I decided to try the whole process one day.
Photographs can be a million things depending on who you ask: an artwork, a memory, part of history, a mean to convey a message, or an attempt to capture beauty or to show the raw reality.
For me, it is a way to capture an idea meditated and constructed on set. My work method starts with a sketch, and then we build the elements required to set up the scene. Colors, models, composition, costumes, backgrounds, and shapes are previously planned based on that initial idea.
I think having experience makes you work faster and be more aware of what you need to spend more time on. It instantly makes you realize how to get the same results using other materials or solve any problem with what you have at hand. The editing time is also shortening substantially. Since my college days, I have always liked my images to be reproducible in large formats. I studied design and art direction, so it makes sense.
Creativity is essential in art. In constructed photography, you have to consider the result you want to
achieve before starting the process. But creativity is only a part of it, as organization, procedures, and
systematic work are also important.
Yes. In 2023 we will launch the Kima Collection, and collectors will be able to purchase limited, signed, and authenticated editions of the Celestials series. There will pieces created by me, Javier Gamonal, and some other selected artists.
I think it’s exciting to be able to build images that are born from an idea and connect with the audience through them.
8 - Congratulations on winning the 2022 European Photography Awards! Could you describe what this achievement means to you or your career?