Manolo Laguillo is a key figure in the field of urban documentary photography in Spain. In 1978, together with Humberto Rivas, he began to photograph the outskirts of Barcelona: the industrial area of Poblenou, the industrial estates of the Besòs, the Port and its surroundings, and also the fringes of the Eixample and Sant Gervasi. With his large format camera, Laguillo shaped a dry and refined style based on frontal framing, simple geometries, and painstaking attention to angles and to the density of light. He captured the vague, deserted, non-productive territories, buildings under construction and seemingly obsolete realities that the metropolis consistently pushes into the margins. His images played a pioneering role in the formulation of a new model representing the Catalan capital and its ongoing changes. A model that is the antithesis of the famous ‘Barcelona brand’ and instead of presenting a glossy surface reveals the cracks and incongruities in contemporary speculative urbanism.

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I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat