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Milagros Caturla – a rare Spanish photography talent discovered by chance
In 2001 while holidaying in Barcelona, American traveler Tom Sponheim bought for $3.50 at the local flee market Els Enchants an envelope with negatives from an unknown photographer. After the negatives were exposed few years later, amazing photographs from Barcelona’s life in the 1960s came to light. Fascinated by their quality Tom Sponheim decided to try to find their mystery author and in 2010 he created the Facebook page – ‘Las Fotos Perdidas de Barcelona’. Though many people identified themselves in the photos, still the identity of the original photographer remained unknown.
Until 2017 when Begoña Fernández thanks to hours of painstaking research in the archives eventually identified the photographer as Milagros Caturla. Actually, Milagros Caturla was not a professional photographer but a passionate amateur who used to ramble Barcelona streets in her free time catching the everyday life of her fellow- citizen. She was well known that time and had won many photo contests before her death in 2008.
So, will Milagros Caturla follow the destiny of Vivian Maier’s discovery? According to the words of Mr Sponheim the answer is no. “The images are not for sale. My main purpose is to make sure that these images are preserved for the people of Barcelona and for any of the families affected.”
The series ‘Natural Findings‘ by Cheryle St. Onge “explore the curiosity and awe of our early grasp of nature; a paper wasp nest that appears dropped from Mars, the frog egg masse that on close inspect, possible through a photograph, becomes a gelatinous scoop of stars, a constellation of black dots, soon to be tadpoles. The photographs become both the shared means of a longer examination and the conduit of our own private recollection of nature.”
“Combining an archaic photographic technique with objects that are part and parcel of contemporary life and modern consumer society, Swiss artistic duo put them in a rose-pink color of varying degrees of transparency, each boasting an aura of its own. While present in the traces, indeed almost tangible marks, they leave on the paper, they are at the same time absent, slowly fading away in the manner of an afterimage behind closed eyelids.” Martin Gasser Curator / Swiss Foundation for Photography, 2003