In the same way that French photographer Lucien Herve blurred the boundaries of humanism and architecture, Sergi García Gavaldà's monochromatic shots of Barcelona are a hybrid of street life and abstraction. The shadows are lurking and mysterious, and the angles are sharp, geometric and peppered with the occasional evidence of life. We recently caught up with Sergi to talk about his stunningly simplistic compositions.
Hi Sergi! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! Firstly, how's life for a photographer such as yourself 2018 so far?
First of all, I do not like to define myself as a photographer, I prefer to say that I take photos. There are a lot of people who work very hard in the world of photography, and I can just say that they are lucky to live their life doing what they really want to do.
You mainly shoot outside on the streets. May you tell us what awakened your interest for geometric street photography?
I started photographing the street without any pretension or intention to do anything in particular.With time, I met photographers with an aesthetic very similar to what I do now that captivated me, and I started to experiment with the lights, shadows and shapes. With time, you learn to see the world in an abstract way that you didn't see before.
On the other hand, I have never thought much about it, but perhaps it's a reflection of my personality or what I would like the world around me to be: something simple and clear.
Your visuals share a certain similarity with the French photographer Lucien Herve who always combined street scenes with the presence of a person in his images. May you tell us more about the human silhouettes in your photos? What do they symbolize?
You barely see clearly the people that I catch, it's a little game that helps me to involve the people who see my photos, who ask questions, who are reflected in those figures, and who go from spectators to protagonists, and finally, they become those silhouettes. When I photograph I do not pretend to explain anything in particular, I show the way I see my reality, and then I share it.
You mentioned that the majority of your images are taken within your city, Barcelona. May you share with us some street photography tips and hacks when photographing street scenes?
I have always found myself between street photography and architectural photography; I do not define myself as one or the other. The big cities are saturated with messages and information, I want to give a simple and direct idea and sometimes it's complicated. Any advice? If you walk, visualize as much as you can, if you go to the market, visualize, if you walk the dogs, visualize. 99% of what you visualize will not be worthwhile, but the one percent left… bingo!
Where else would you take pictures with the same aesthetic, if given the chance?
I still have to go to the Niemeyer Center, in Asturias — Spain. As one friend said: “It is a place that has been photographed by a lot of people, but each one in its own way”. I hope to go there soon.
Describe to us — what's a day in the life of Sergio Gavaldà?
My job, and where I get the money to pay the bills comes from selling cameras. I work in a photography shop in Barcelona called Foto K. I like to go out and take pictures in my free time, without worrying or becoming stressed, just concentrating on what I photograph.
What do you usually do during your downtime? Any on-going projects, or other plans in the future?
Now I'm part of a collective called Held Collective, which is a group of photographers trying to collaborate with social groups, although it's still in its infancy, I think it will work!