Melchor Guardia

The chaser of moments

A hairdresser by profession and a photographer by inclination, in the mid-1950s Melchor Guardia (Barcelona, 1903) used his Voigtländer camera to capture the essence of the Palma of that era, a city which still retained a touch of innocence. Photographs in which colour timidly puts in an appearance, without fanfare, inherently beautiful and simple images.

The son of immigrants from Aragon, Guardia grew up in Barcelona and from a very young age began to work as a ladies’ hairdresser. And yet Melchor’s great love was hiking, and whenever he could he practised it with his group of friends. One day they were joined by a young man who loved photography, an enthusiasm he transmitted to Melchor and one that would accompany him throughout his life.

He came to Mallorca years later, to do his mandatory military service. He liked the island so much that he decided to stay and open up his own hairdressing salon in Plaza de Cort in Palma, where he met the woman who would soon become his wife, Sebastiana Servera.

And indeed Melchor started taking photographs of his wife and of her home town, Son Servera. The hobby had turned into a passion by the mid-1950s, when he decided to acquire his brand-new Voigtländer camera. With it he portrayed sunsets, backlit scenes, reflections of wet pavements, the everyday life of his neighbourhood, the trades being practised around him, children playing in the street...

His son José Miguel says that Melchor Guardia was [...]


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