Raval, Barcelona, 1958

Joan Colom: Raval

Artist Book
Joan Colom, Raval

Joan Colom

From 1958 -1961, Mr. Colom made his clandestine photographs in the red light district of Barcelona, often holding his camera at waist level so as not to attract the attention of the prostitutes and their patrons in the Raval, the poorest neighborhood of the city. 

Working in a style similar to his contemporary Robert Frank, Colom captured the inhabitants of this neighborhood as they solicited one another, joked among themselves, and expressed a vitality that otherwise could not be captured on film.  Whether peeking out of a doorway, strutting down the street, or offering an inviting embrace, the ladies of the Raval exude a powerful sense of sexuality and a subtle self-assuredness that make the pictures mysterious and intriguing.

Colom first exhibited this series in 1961, at the Aixela Salon in Barcelona; the show then traveled throughout Spain.  In 1964 the ground-breaking book Izas, Rabizas y Colipoterras was published with text by Camilo Jose Cela and photographs by Joan Colom.  The book angered the regime of Franco, and the controversy that arose influenced Colom to distance himself from photography for the next 20 years.  It was not until Brassai-Paris, Colom-Barcelona: Resonancias was published in 2003 that his work found a new and interested audience. This April Colom will be honored with a major exhibition at The Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris, and a new monograph from Steidl.

 


Selected Images

 

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

 

 

 

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

 

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

 

 

 

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

Raval, Barcelona, 1958

 

Semana Santa, circa 1958

 

 


 Gallery Exhibitions

    Joan Colom: Gente del Raval  March 9 - April 29, 2006

 

 


 

 Contact the gallery for additional information regarding Joan Colom