Jacobo Biarnés

Lines that go up and down

In the field of geometry, inflection is the point at which a curve or a line changes its direction, the moment when it transforms from a descending to an ascending line, and vice versa. The photographer Jacobo Biarnés (Palma, 1981) has experienced several of these inflection points in his life, which have now led him to throw himself “into what I feel and what I am”.

Jacobo Biarnés’s first contact with photography came during a study trip to Rome. “My father wanted to make sure I was paying attention to what we saw, so he made me take photos of all the places we visited, to show him when I got back. When these images were developed, it was surprising to see how well they turned out, bearing in mind it was the first time I had used a camera”.

After that trip, Biarnés moved to Madrid to study osteopathy. And although at the time he wasn’t considering professional photography as an option, he did start to establish an analogy between the two specialities. “Anatomy is very closely related to photography, being familiar with people’s bodies is very important for perceiving how they are, what is happening to them and what they feel at any given moment. I believe this is fundamental for portraying people’s souls”.

In Madrid, in spite of the fact that his studies were focussed on health, photography gradually became a more and more important part of his life. “The musician Víctor Herrero and I made a good team: he brought people to me, and I photographed them. There weren’t so many photographers between 2000 and 2005, so there was quite a lot of demand for us”. That was how he learned more and more. “In Madrid I also met Pablo Pérez Mínguez, a photographer from the famous Movida madrileña, or Madrid scene. Actually, Pedro Almodóvar shot some of his films in his studio. I used to go there to show him my work, and he would give me advice to carry on learning”.

Another setting that helped him prosper – his own words – was the nightlife scene. “I used to make eighty percent of my contacts there. If I met someone in an office, nothing happened. But when I was out having drinks, a bunch of projects came up”.

This was how a period began when he would divide his time between taking photos of actors and of people related to the world of fashion. “I went to lots of the parties that were thrown in those circles, and started to indulge excessively”. The situation reached a point where, one day, Jacobo called his family. “I realised I couldn’t carry on like that. So I came back to Mallorca, for my health”.

He spent four long years going between clinics and rehab programmes. “When I managed to get through all that, I asked myself, what do I want to do with my life now? What gives me the most happiness? I answered without hesitation: Photography”.

And so that was how Jacobo Biarnés started over. “At first people only called me to do family portraits, communions, catalogues… But then my goal was to make money so that I could earn a living from photography. So every time someone called me I would take it as an incredible, unique opportunity to make progress”, he says.

Biarnés stopped providing photography services some time ago now. “I only do it for myself now, or if a project comes up that I really love”. He now focusses on reproducing artworks and developing. “A little while ago the owner of a Banksy came to me and asked me to make a photographic reproduction of the work. It was very complex because a woman from the insurance company came along too, and we had to do everything meticulously, from a crane”.

As for developing photographs, Jacobo says [...]


Read this article in full in IN PALMA 69. And if you like, subscribe to IN PALMA for 1 year and get the next 4 issues of the magazine delivered to your home.

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