Josep Badosa

Arenys de Mar, 1893 – Barcelona, 1937

grupo autores

Claimed by Agustí Centelles as his master, this restless, good-natured and nocturnal photojournalist was forgotten from 1939 and onwards due to two reasons: the abolition of the media for who he had worked and his premature death in 1937. Inseparable from his motorbike -over the years with side car-, on which he painted the names of the media where he published, this way using it for advertising purposes, attentive to the latest developments in terms of the technologies of equipments and photographic material, his career is one of the most extensive of the photojournalism of Barcelona of the first three decades of the 20th Century.

It hasn’t been possible to pinpoint the exact moment in which the professional career of Josep Badosa began, but in 1909 he is one of the founders of the Associació de Premsa Diària de Barcelona. The media to which he was connected throughout his whole life was the El Día Gráfico, owned by Joan Pich i Pon, who had bought up La Tribuna, where he published as well. From 1915 and onwards he consolidated himself as a photojournalist of the newspaper and achieved the position as correspondent of the La Unión Ilustrada (1909-1931). Two years later the newspaper decided to offer the position to Brangulí who nonetheless, faced by the complaints of Badosa, decided to hand it over. Due to the reputation of being the primary photographer of the key newspaper of Barcelona, he extended his outreach.

From 1919 and during the 1920es he worked for the weekly paper Mundo Gráfico, collaborated in the Madrid based newspaper El Día and in the weekly paper Voluntad (1919-1920). This way he was already a veteran when he became one of the founders of the Agrupació de Reporters Gràfics de Barcelona in 1921. The relationship with the rest of the colleagues was habitual as were the work he carried out for others. This way, between 1922 and 1923 he provided photos of bulls for Brangulí.

The media enterprise of Pich y Pon worked out well and in 1924 the evening newspaper La Noche was founded, which from 1927 onwards came out with the supplement La Gaceta Deportiva, from which he obviously couldn’t be absent. In 1925 the enterprise invested in the latest machinery with regards to production and Badosa became “chief of the photographers”. The workshops were located in the street Muntaner while the editorial department in Plaça Catalunya, in a spectacular building also owned by Pich i Pon.  

In the exact same building, the 2nd of February 1927, Badosa opened a new photographic adventure in partnership with Santiago Carreras, a renowned photographer who had made career in Mexico and when back had went to live in Mataró. The Foto-Art Badosa studio got off to a flying start; they needed a trainee and hired Agustí Centelles, who he had known in the workshops of El Día Gráfico. Carreras would soon thereafter leave the business.

The end of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera coincided with the correspondent of the graphic weekly newspaper Estampa and a new challenge at El Día Gráfico. In 1929 he was the person in charge of portraying different towns of Catalonia from a small plane for the Sunday edition. On top of the usual media a new graphic newspaper Ahora was added, alongside the sports newspaper AS, and later on during the Republic, El Sol and La Voz.

Always at the forefront he acquired a Leica in 1932 and, according to his family, he was the first Catalan photojournalist to use it. But the times were not very auspicious since that same year Foto-Art Badosa shut down. In addition, as of the former year he had been working alone because he had fewer assignments. This drop down became evident when in 1933 the dominant signature in El Día Gráfico was Pérez de Rozas, friend of Pich i Pon, and in 1935 he lost his correspondents in Estampa and Ahora. Like so many other professionals he taught his son the work of photographer and he ended up becoming his assistant in 1934.

At the beginning of the war, father and son were affiliated in the Agrupación Profesional de Periodistas (UGT). One of his tasks during the conflict was an assignment contracted by El Día Gráfico in which he should cover the Republican landing in Mallorca during the summer of 1936. The 4th of October 1937 he died due to pneumonia.


Olga Badosa i Gaju

Montse Capellas i Badosa