Retratos de ciudad [City Portraits]

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  • Condition Report

  • Provenance

    Toluca Fine Art, Paris

  • Exhibited

    Fernell Franco, Cali Clair-Obscur, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, 6 February - 5 June 2016; Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, 27 July - 2 November 2016, another

  • Literature

    A. Fabry, Fernell Franco: Cali Clair-Obscur, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain/Toluca, 2016, pp. 152-153 (variant), pp. 158-159 (variant)

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of Latin America’s pre-eminent photographers, Fernell Franco was a leading figure of the Cali Group (named after the city where he lived most of his life). He first encountered the urban underbelly of Colombia as a teenager while working for a photographic studio as a bike messenger. He later pursued photography in journalism and in advertising before turning to his first series Prostitutas in 1970. In 2016, a major retrospective of his work was presented at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris and Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.

    Searching for a contrast to his work in fashion and advertising, Fernell Franco produced many series documenting the underbelly of Colombian society. His subjects included urban marginality, destruction and transformation. Inspired by Italian Neorealism and film noir, Franco showcased his masterly use of chiaroscuro in his 1994 series Retratos de ciudad [City Portraits]. In lot 57, we see, from above, a mass of silhouetted figures populating a stadium with a stage in the far-right corner. Franco’s experimental approach to image-making is revealed in his language of grain, application of crayon and presentation of the work in three parts. For his first major project Prostitutas (1970-72), he photographed sex workers in brothels in the port city of Buenaventura. In lot 58, we see a young woman lying suggestively over a floral mattress, gazing directly at the camera. His interest in expressing a narrative in his photographs is evident in this arresting image.

  • Artist Bio

    Fernell Franco

    Colombian • 1942 - 2006

    One of Latin America’s pre-eminent photographers, Fernell Franco was a leading figure of the Cali Group (named after the city where he lived most of his life). He first encountered the urban underbelly of Colombia as a teenager while working for a photographic studio as a bike messenger. He later pursued photography in journalism and in advertising before turning to his first series Prostitutas in 1970. In 2016, a major retrospective of his work was presented at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris and Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City.

    View More Works

57

LATIN AMERICA

Retratos de ciudad [City Portraits]

1994
Gelatin silver triptych with black crayon.
Overall: 40 x 67.6 cm (15 3/4 x 26 5/8 in.)
Inventory number by Fundación Fernell Franco in ink on the verso.

Estimate
£10,000 - 15,000 

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe

General Enquiries
+44 20 7318 4092

Photographs

London Auction 25 October 2019