Joan Andreu Puig Farran
Joan Andreu Puig Farran established himself as a photographer by taking on work generated by the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, when he entered into partnership with his friend Carlos Pérez de Rozas Masdeu. Their company, which was mainly portrait-based, had several names, including “Fotografia Exposición. Pérez de Rozas & Puig” and “Art-Express”. The studio was located at number 6, Rambla dels Estudis, in the building popularly known as the “Palau de Las Noticias” (the “palace” of the newspaper Las Noticias).
With the advent of the Republic, the two photographers parted ways and Puig Farran worked as a freelance photojournalist. From then until the end of the civil war, his work was frequently published in Barcelona newspapers such as La Humanitat, La Vanguardia, L’Opinió, El Matí, Esplai, La Veu del Vespre and Última Hora.
When civil war broke out, Puig Farran was one of the first photojournalists to make his way to the Aragon front. On 4 August 1936 several of his photographs were published in L’Instant with the following caption: “The conquest of Huesca. Captain Medrano’s batteries firing on Siétamo.” A few years later, when he covered the Republican landings in Majorca, his photos were published in Última Hora (22 August) and La Vanguardia (23 August). That same August, he applied to join the Professional Association of Journalists (part of the trade union UGT), declaring that he lived at carrer Casp, 160 and was employed by the newspaper La Humanitat, paid on a job-by-job basis. He was named a member of the board of directors for the photojournalists section of the association in January 1938.
When the civil war ended, Puig Farran was sent to various concentration camps. As the historian Josep Cruanyes wrote, “in 1940 he availed himself of the return of expatriates and was sent to [the concentration camp at] Miranda de Ebro, where he was condemned to death.” He was eventually released thanks to the efforts of his brother-in-law Manuel Cases, a major in Franco’s air force.
In 1945 Puig Farrran returned to Barcelona and – like so many other photographers who refused to sympathise with the regime – ended up working in commercial and advertising photography. And in yet another career change, in 1952 he went into partnership with fellow photographer Antoni Campaña Bandrana, under the name “Postales Color CYP”. Together, they launched Spain’s first collection of colour postcards, which ended up turning into more than fourteen travel books. Puig Farran died on 22 February 1982 at the age of 77. His archive, believed to have been lost, is in the care of his family.
Alós, Ernest: El hallazgo de unas fotos perdidas levanta nuevas dudas sobre el archivo Centelles. El Periódico de Catalunya. 24/6/2016
Alós, Ernest: Centelles que no lo son. EEl Periódico de Catalunya. 3/4/2014