Luis Chacón and His Portraits of Life
Since year 1826, when a French inventor Joseph Niépce made the first permanent photograph, the art and technique of photographing have evolved greatly. People not only learned how to create color photographic images, but they also made the entire process digital rather than chemical, thus making photography easier, better, and more affordable. However, speaking about photography as the art or a profession rather than as a popular and widely-spread hobby, it is necessary to admit that even today there are many artists, such as Luis Chacón, who adhere to the “old” photography school and even being equipped with the modern innovative digital cameras they continue exploring and portraying the world, nature, and human emotions using only black and white colors…
Born in 1974 in the city of Ronda (Malaga province, Spain), Luis drew his inspiration from the surrounding nature since his early childhood. The city itself with its grandeur location, perching upon the El Tayo canyon, and its glorious history, marked with the cultural influence of ancient Celts and Roman Empire, inspired many artists, including such famous ones as Prosper Merimee and Washington Irving. Obviously, the same picturesque Mediterranean nature and the city, where every stone is saturated with the rich historical legacy, were the primary sources of inspiration for Luis Chacón as well, which later predisposed his choice of a professional path.
Luis Chacón studied artistic design and music, but later he gave his final vote to design, sold his electric guitar, got a photo camera, and devoted himself entirely to the art of photography. He once found portrait to be the most interesting branch of photography; and today he continues to explore all its hidden secrets, making almost all his images exclusively in black and white. Nature and people – these are two major actors, appearing on the works of Luis. An important thing is that very often the photographer chooses “live” photography, preferring street shooting to a studio work. By the way, Luis Chacón was named among the top 100 best photographers at Flickr in the category of social photography.
Whether it is some incredible talent of a photographer to choose “the right” models or a tribute to B&W photography technique, capable of directing viewer’s attention precisely to meaningful details of an image, but looking at the works by Luis Chacón one can notice that all his portraits share the same qualities: honesty, solid connection with reality, and distinct emotional load. Furthermore, I am sure one can find something else in these photographs – something that would reflect his own personality and world perception.
A distinct ethnic motif appears in many of Luis’s works. He does his best to reflect the peculiarities and uniqueness of a particular community, showing it “as is” without any artistic embellishments. There is also a series of photographs, featuring smoking people. Looking at these photos, try to step away from treating smoking as an unhealthy habit, just concentrate on the visual images, created by the smoke. Actually, the photographer is, definitely, attracted by the smoke or mist in its multiple forms. Maybe, it is because they are capable of hiding the reality and erasing the border between real world and the world, created by human imagination.
Speaking about natural landscapes, captured by Luis Chacón, it is necessary to note that the photographer often chooses trees and roads as the central parts of the composition. Indeed, trees and roads carry powerful symbolic meaning: they are the silent witnesses of individual’s destiny and that of families, towns, and even the whole nations. They could tell us a lot about the life, if they could speak… However, some of the messages can still be perceived – we just need to focus at the moments of their life, captured by the skillful photographer, and start perceiving not only with the eyes open but with the hearts open too.
Today, Luis Chacón continues his photography experiments. Recently he had his first personal exhibition hosted in the informational center of Grazalema, Spain. Besides, the photographer currently works as a cinematographer at the shooting of a new film, called “Blood and Love in the Mountain”. Of course, at any time people can find his works and explore his stunning world of shadows at his personal page on Flickr.