Eugenio Recuenco

From the canvas to the photograph

Midway between painting, theatre and photography stands 365º, the most personal project of Madrid photographer Eugenio Recuenco. 

What does 365º consist of? It is the culmination of 8 years of work, 369 images, 120 models and a team of 300 people. I wanted to draw attention to things in our everyday life, propose a series of actions to see if we can engage in some reflection. The name 365º is a play on the 365 days of the year and what would be almost a circumference, giving a vision of everything we perceive around us.

How did the idea emerge of embarking on this vast project? It all began one day when we were at the height of the madness of commercial projects. Even though there is always a personal side to commercial jobs, you are left with a kind of frustration of having to be “bound” to certain norms. The 365º process was very organic, I didn’t feel I was bound. We did drawings, we took notes, we set ourselves free and managed to make the project 100% our own.

What was the creative process like? We would take a week or so to prepare each session, and then take a few photos. From apparently simple things, ideas emerge that gradually take shape. Eric, my art director, and I share a similar universe. Then we transmit the ideas to the rest of the team, and often the team proposes new ideas to make it even more special. In the end, when all the preparations have been done, we simply let the photographic moment exist.

What is the relationship between the window of the room and the characters? The window is the only connection each character has with the outside. It sort of symbolises the world of the senses. It is located in a place that is difficult to access. If the character wants to look through the window, this will involve an effort. Every one of us has the opportunity to see things, to make the effort and ask ourselves why the things that happen happen. Or we can not ask ourselves any questions.

Where did your love of photography start? I have two older sisters, they are eight and nine years older than me. My sisters’ boyfriends had cameras. They were kind of the reference of the elder brother I never had. I was drawn more to their interests than to those of my sisters. It was thanks to them that I discovered that I loved photography and they ended up transmitting their enthusiasm to me.

And once they had given you the itch, how did you start out? Photography wasn’t such an easy thing back then. Not everybody had a camera. I was around twelve or thirteen, and my father loaned me a Kodak Retinette, I took some pictures and nearly all the photos were out of focus. I remember that my sisters would go on trips with their boyfriends and when they came home they would project slides of their travels. But they weren’t only souvenir photos, there was also a certain aim to show where they had been, to explain the context. I would say that it was something like a spark that we experienced in my family. My beginnings were made of curiosity.

Do you have any particularly fond memories of any teachers you’re your time as a Fine Arts student? I had Cristina García Rodero (the only Spanish photographer with the Magnum Agency) as a photography teacher in my first year of university. She instilled in me an interest that I had not defined yet. My intention was to lean more towards painting; it was she who showed me the way towards photography. She wasn’t a conventional teacher, instead of teaching us technique, which ultimately you could learn on your own, what she did was transmit to us a passion for photography.

And how was the transition from Eugenio the painter to Eugenio the photographer? In my last year of Fine Arts I started [...]


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