P·H·O·T·O·G·R·A·P·H·E·R·S

Frederic Ballell (1864–1951)

By virtue of both age and dedication, Frederic Ballell Mayami’s name and work are inseparably bound up with the birth of photojournalism in Catalonia. One of the first photographers to apply his trade to journalistic reporting, Ballell was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico, in 1864, and moved to Barcelona to study industrial engineering at the age of 16.

Alejandro Antonietti (1887–1961)

Only the pages of the press and a few clues leave proof of the existence of the graphic reporter Antonietti, a steady signature in the press of Barcelona during the first decades of the past century. A professional who, in addition to photojournalism, created images for postcards and managed a gallery-shop where exposures of photos and paintings were carried out.

Josep Badosa (1893–1937)

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.

Josep Brangulí (1879–1945)

More than three decades with a camera in his hands and managing one of the strongest firms of the Catalan photography meticulously, Josep Brangulí is a fundamental figure in order to understand the beginning and the unfolding of the photo-journalistic profession, what it meant to be a correspondent and how to make a family-firm run like a press agency, one for which a great majority of the photojournalism of Barcelona supplied images. A strong defender of the fundamental labour rights and the recognition of the signature, he was also the founder of the first professional associations.

Gabriel Casas (1892–1973)

From a petite bourgeoisie family of Barcelona linked to the paintings and photography he was a bohemian and at the same time a tireless worker, a devotee to the silence, solitude and the darkness of his studio. Influenced by the works of photographers such as Moholy-Nagy or Alexander Rodchenko, he stood out due to the innovative character of his style and the constant experimentation with the poster art, the advertising photography and the photo montage.

Agustí Centelles (1909–1985)

The most famous anecdote of the life of Agustí Centelles is related to a suitcase which he carried into exile in 1939 loaded with thousands of negatives from the years of the Republic and the Spanish Civil War. Hidden in France until the death of the dictator, it wasn't until 1978 that its contents reached the general public. Exhibitions, books and interviews in the media made him, not only until his death in 1985 but also at present, the greatest example of the two generations of photojournalists that worked in Barcelona from the beginning of the century to the end of the war.

Ramon Claret (1887–1965)

Ramon Claret Artigas arrived in Barcelona when he was two weeks old, and lived in the city until his death at Rambla de Santa Mònica in 1965. Claret is known primarily for his dedication to sports photojournalism, a field in which he is an undisputed pioneer and an inescapable influence. His uninterrupted career spanned more than fifty years, from his first credited image in the sports magazine Stadium in 1912, to his last published in El Mundo Deportivo in 1961.

Josep Maria Co de Triola (1884–1965)

Sport was the axis that marked the vital activity of Josep M. Co de Triola: because he practised it, he disseminated it, he narrated it and, obviously, he portrayed it. As a fan of mountain sports -especially caving in which he was a pioneer- and fascinated by the motor -he was one of the initiators of the aviation and the motor racing-, he became a well known figure during the first three decades of the 20th century due to his relationship with all kinds of sports organisations and celebrations. His signature was one of the most famous ones in the field of the press in a double sided manner, as an editor (signing with his name and the pseudonyms Passavolant and Obicuo) and as a photo-journalist.

Josep Gaspar (1892–1970)

One of the most versatile and kaleidoscopic figures that practised in Barcelona during the first decades of the 20th Century. A devotee to travelling, constant learning and experimentation, Gaspar was a reference of his time. He stood out in the world of cinema, a field in which he became one of the most recognised pioneers. As a matter of fact, his own life seems taken out of a film. After the war he tried out his luck in the Americas unsuccessfully and he ended up spending the last years of his live in Barcelona, alone and forgotten, in the most absolute misery.

Alessandro Merletti (1860–1943)

Born in Italy, this senior member of the photo-journalists of Barcelona was amongst one of the most famous persons of the Catalan capital during the first decades of the past century. He was the first in using motorbike much aware of the required mobility of the profession, a pioneer with the side-car, a precise watchmaker, an inventor of his own photographic devices and the ladder which made him famous, positioning himself above the others this way yielding different point of views. In possession of an extroverted and pleasant personality, one of his most characteristic gestures was to distribute sweets amongst the people that he portrayed.

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