To be articulate is to be lucid and meaningful. A picture must be painted – an impression forged – to see what they see. In most cases, words fail. How do you describe loneliness to a child? Working on intuition and a superb articulation through imagery, Alberto Polo Iañez’s photographs help bring to light some of these indescribable human conditions. Alone in a dark wood, silhouetted against a weatherless void. Iañez’s work seems to capture something deeper than an image – an emotion, perhaps, or an amalgamation of emotion. It’s the feeling of being helpless, conflicted, or the subtly hair-raising sensation of being watched.
Spanish photographer Alberto Polo Iañez seems to have the talent and eye to marry the principles of analogue and modern aesthetics through his candidness, describing his style as "non-style". Hailing from Mallorca, his hometown island largely influences his penchant for the natural, with occasional themes and touches of time and memory. With this fusion of old and new, Iañez’s imagery allows onlookers to see and feel complex emotions. Get to know more about the artist through this interview.
First off – what's it like to be a film photographer lately in the digitally-driven world?
(Laughs) First of all, nowadays I respect both sides but I’m not considered myself from any in particular. If I had to choose one I will take the analogue world because it has a magic that surrounds it that digital hasn’t. But it’s true that in the digital world more often it has a huge demand for the analogue style.
Do you remember the first time you held and used a film camera? May you share with us that moment and how did you get into film?
I think it was in high school when I was 15. The first analog camera I used to shoot with was a Minolta 35mm with a 400 ASA roll from my older sister. She used it for her lessons in the art school. I begin in the analog world years after the digital boom because I started to get bored because I feel that I was expired everything I could from the digital cameras and I needed something more. I discover that I was pretty interested in polaroids and it was the better I could do. At that moment you could get the original rolls in big quantities for low prices and At that moment I get so much attract for analog than ever.
We love how your photographs just have that unique vintage feel with them that most are found in the film while having a mostly modern, clean minimalist composition with them. We also noticed that your images often have nude-browns and creams which add to that vintage feel. Could you tell us more about your photography style?
My style is non-style, I’ll explain that. Who knows me knows that I’m an open book for that. I take different references and I get it to my personal side.
We know you love taking images of many things, but what's your favorite subject to take pictures of and why?
I love to shoot everything that represents something natural and no artificial. I like to escape from the noise and society we live in. When I find peace, silence and all the elements I like to work with is when I feel more comfortable and free.
What elements do you usually look for when taking a photo?
I usually use natural elements but I think my pictures are all about light. The different ways of capturing light can express other points of view on the same subject.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from everything I’m surrounded by. In the end, everything can inspire you.
What's artistically challenging you right now that you want to overcome?
(Laughs) At the moment I must say that my big challenge is to bring astrophotography to my style, although another of my biggest challenges is with fashion too.
Finally, what are you up to these days?
(Laughs) I’ll try to relax and think about how to take advantage of my 55 sqm. Barcelona apartment. In these days of quarantine and difficult times I realize, as a working person with no time to reflex and think, that we shouldn’t take everything from granted like the importance of the time and freedom in our lives.