Joan Galo photographs the Spanish LGBTQ+ community

Photographing people and telling their stories, character, charisma and natural beauty is what Joan Galo does in Barcelona with the camera.

Their photography is sophisticated, elegant and eclectic, taking us beyond boundaries and definitions and describing a glimpse of the Spanish LGBTQ+ community. Joan mixes empathy, colour, creativity and inventiveness. Their art is spectacular.

We had the chance to talk with @allaboutgalo about photography, art and life. Here is the interview, enjoy reading it.

Hi Joan, tell us something about yourself. Where did you grow up and how did you discover photography?

I grew up in a small city near Barcelona. It was a very peaceful, quiet kind of life. I discovered photography at university and the first camera I got was an Holga 120mm that seemed like a toy, which made it very playful and easy for me as a first contact with photography. 

What value do art and photography have for you?

Art is my everyday life. I am always creating, whether it’s a concept for a shooting, for a look, for a video or for a drag show. 

What do you try to tell through your shots?

I usually take pictures of people that I know already, normally they’re close friends and sometimes it’s just people that I get to know and I have a quick instinct of wanting to portrait them, but in both cases my approach is the same. I try to sublimate what I see in them, their character, their charisma, their natural beauty. There’s nothing specific I want to talk about or tell in my pictures, since that changes depending on the “model”. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words

Refined, theatrical, queer.

What is femininity for you?

A certain feeling, an energy, a way to express something. 

What is the best way to break down stereotypes and prejudices?

In life, treating them naturally and being conscious about the matter, meaning you have to keep informed and updated, especially nowadays that everything moves so fast. In art, my way to do so is exposing queer people and non-normative bodies, through a vision that puts them in a position of beauty and control. 

Which artists have influenced your search? Are there any photographers you are inspired by?

I don’t really think there’s any photographer that has influenced my work in a direct way. The first photography book I got was “Heaven to hell” by David Lachapelle and I remember being astonished with his use of colour and the kind of people that appeared. I have always been attracted to the eccentric and out of the norm, but I think that was already in me. 

Continue the sentence: for me photography is…

A way to look at things.. so eventually it might be a tool to observe and live in the world. 

What are you working on lately?

I am working in the production of an underground cabaret where I am also in charge of the visuals and I am starting a long term photography fanzine project. 

Words by Federica Cimorelli

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