Eugenio Recuenco was born in Madrid in May 1968, concurring with the “revolutionary spring” taking place in other European capitals, such as Paris or Prague. His vocation to arts was envisaged when he was a child, so nobody was surprised when he registered in the Faculty of Fine Arts.
Hired by the most prestigious brands (Loewe, Nina Ricci, Diesel, ShangaiTan, Yves Saint Laurent, Playstation, Custo, Naf Naf , Mango or Pernod Ricard) to create their products’ image through images making the public travel where their imagination and sensitivity bring them.
The brand Nina Ricci invited him to leave temporarily the photographic camera for the video camera and shoot a spot. Eugenio Recuenco accepted and filmed his first TV spot, an experience which has repeated for brands such as Loewe, Freixenet, Mango, Codorniu, Chivas Regal, Regione Campania, Vanderbilt and Motorola, among others.
In 2008 his spot “The Essence of Seduction” gained recognition in Spain where it was awarded the prize to the best advertising of the year, while in the Mexico City International Film Festival it was appointed at the best within short film category.
As a photographer, his work can take your breath away. The best national and international critics and experts acknowledge Eugenio Recuenco’s works, leading him to be awarded several prizes.
His pictures are the result of a complex narrative and a thoroughly handmade set including many references to the history of art, such as the Renaissance, Picasso or Tamara de Lempicka. This truly personal style let him develop spots and shot films with a “plot”.
EUGENIO RECUENCO CURRENTLY LIVES BEHIND A CAMERA.
And today, at Stitch, we have the pleassure to talk with him about his extraordinary work and one of his personal projects: The World Nowadays.
What did you want to tell with this project and why?
I wanted to show everyday aspects of our world that are, in many cases, the behavior standards that society has led us to adopt. But transferring that to the universe of painting, past, but not necessarily real, where I place those current behaviors. The act of looking at ourselves in the mirror of social media, the fast food, etc.
As you are inserting modern elements in this series, what do you think of the modern development of photography and its connection with the essence of this art? Is it being lost or the opposite?
I think photography is living a gold age and we are not aware of it. Not because the more accesible media has made more artists, but it has pushed the artists to the necessity of having a speech above the technique. And in addition it has been a dark time where it seemed that the abandonment, on the other hand, of the technique endowed the photograph of artistic load. But that is coming to an end. We have matured. We have perspective.
Where do you find the inspiration for your photography? How would you define your style?
I get inspired by life. Inspiration is just asking about what you have around and make you see things from different perspectives. Many of them go beyond the norm of what they have taught us and then you have a different vision of what surrounds you. It's almost like creating parallel worlds; imagining what happens.
From the first idea until the final result, how do you create your images with complex scenarios?
First I have the idea and then I see how I want to transmit it. In the end the sets are the result of dressing that idea. In other cases like this one, the scenery and the idea travel hand in hand; because you have to invent what that past world would have been like if what is now normal was what it was at that moment. For example, how the smoking room would look like.
“Eugenio Recuenco is a Spanish photographer who is a pain in the ass because he always insists on doing whatever he wants” is a funny way to start a description of yourself in your website. Explain us more about this.
I take photos but I am very interested in the concept of what my photography will tell. If I don’t like the concept or the story, it’s like leaving all the creativity behind to dress in colors something that you think is not interesting.
And that impetus or desire to improve is not always what interests to the interested ones.
You studied Fine Arts and ended up working in Photography. As the last one is actually so easy to reach for every person nowadays, when would you say you consider a photograph becomes a piece of art?
I think that the first step to make it a piece of art is that the intention is that one; no other. A commercial photo can hardly be a piece of art. You can be witty... That's why I quarrel with clients. Because I do not really want to make their advert, but I want a piece of art to illustrate their advert. I want the photos to be completed formally, conceptually and emotionally. And it is true that the viewer does not give you the time for you to convey that.
I’ve read you are interested in getting into cinema, being a director. Do you have any ongoing project for a near future? Could you tell us a bit about it?
I started working with video a long time ago in advertising. Most recently we did a short film, "Manuscrit trové dans l'oubli" which was my first foray into film and which is having a good reception and receiving awards.
Thinking on the future there are two projects that I’m searching for a way to do. A feature film “(W)Hole time” that comes from the need to tell a story I wrote. For no other reason than to make the film, I mean, I do not want to become a film director, but I want to make that film because it is a necessity to explore the limits that the cinema gives me.
And there is the project of a 9-chapter television miniseries "AbandoNed" that is really interesting, fun and intelligent. Or so I think. Now we need someone else to think like us and also wanting to invest.