74: Lucia Herrero

Editor’s note: This week we are adding images to the gallery from photographers discovered while at FotoFest in Houston.

Lucia Herrero
untitled, from the series "Tribes"

Series Statement: "Tribes" is a social analysis, a raw portrait of occidental society. Groups of families and friends set themselves up by the sea, equipped to spend a day in the sun. All this, harmoniously juxtaposed, seems like a poem of customs that reveal with humour, colour and tenderness, the profundity of a whole society.

These photos of modern-day beach groups are inspired by the studio portraits of ancient tribes who proudly posed in traditional costumes next to their prized possessions. The sky and the sea become the painted backdrop of the studio and the sand seems as if it’s sprinkled on the studio floor. The lighting and the theatricality of the groups add an element of fantasy to the portraits of real people in their natural surroundings. That enlightens a banal situation and elevates it to a state of exception. I call this way of social photography “Antropologia Fantástica.”

The series talks about the human condition during a moment of peaceful holiday, their pride of being there, their honesty and vulnerability. The objectively limited surrounding offers a complete extract of the essential.

This portrait of the "Spanish Tragicomedy" is meant to have many different interpretations. On one hand it talks about the Western middle class, which is suffering from an identity crisis created by the current economic situation. These images make us wonder what changes and what remains afterwards. On the other hand, they challenge the beauty concept of today.

The photos were taken along the Spanish coast and people were asked to participate in situ.