Cesar lucas

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Beatriz de la Chica Rivera
2º bilingüe
November 2009


By César Lucas

There is an exhibition in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Madrid of all the work that the photographer César Lucas has done during the last five decades, from 1960 until today. The exhibition is called “César Lucas; El oficio de mirar”what translated to English would be “César Lucas; the job of looking”. It was inaugurated on October 15th 2009 and it will be going on until January 10th, 2010.

César Lucas started working very young. Before turning 18 years old, he started to collaborate with the Europe Press Agency. He worked for many other companies, was the director of the photography part of the diary “El país” whenit was first edited in 1976, founded the graphic agency called “Cosmos” and retired no long ago being the graphic editor of the magazine “Viajar”. The artist confesses that he is not made for portraying landscapes and that he is much more interested on taking pictures of people and daily life.

The exhibition shows some of the most famous pictures of the transition years that Spain lived,images of that let us see how society has changed along the time. The pictures are some in colour and some other in black and white format. There are more than a hundred pieces, a hundred and twenty being more precise, and that is the reason why the exhibition is divided in six different parts: “the beginning”, “cinema”, “new times” , “myths of the country” , “faces” and “paths”.

In the“cinema” part, you can see the pictures that César Lucas took of Hollywood stars that came to Spain during their different cinematographic running’s in the 1960’s, pictures of very well known actors, actresses and singers like Brigitte Bardot, John Lennon, Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Ann Baxter, Christopher Lee and many others.

In “ the beginning” part it shows the first pictures that hepublished in his career and some photos of when the revolutionary Che Guevara visited Spain in 1959, walking down Madrid in his uniform and by his self.

In the section called “myths of the country” you can see portraits and images of Spanish personalities like Carmen Sevilla, Inés Sastre, Penélope Cruz, Julio Iglesias (who appears on the picture sleeping at an aeroplane chair), EduardoChillida, Camilo José Cela, Alaska, La Duquesa de Alba and a picture of Marisol naked that caused a lot of polemic, and not only in Spain, about the freedom of expression when it was published at the magazine Interviú in 1976. He was called to court because of this picture but he ended up winning the trial. Nowadays, this picture, even though it has more than 30 years, doesn’t look ancient.In the other hand, at the section called “new times” César Lucas shows the pictures of important moments during the Spanish transition. There are pictures from the daily 70’s and early 80´s life, from pro- Franco demonstrations… there is even one picture, that is considered one of the best pictures of the transition, where a kid appears in the middle of a demonstration sitting on his father’sarms raising his fist, that kid was after this known as “the kid of the transition”, and this picture is one of the most famous pictures of the Spanish politics.

At the “faces” part the photographer shows portraits and poses of the already named famous celebrities and in the “paths” we can see the snapshots that César Lucas took during his trips catching other countries costumes and eventslike the arrest of some criminals in the city of Miami in Florida, an Indian girl posing in front of the Taj Mahal in India, the change of guard in Moscow and many others.

One of the pieces that I liked the most is a big picture that shows the cover of a hundred and twenty interview magazines. What I like is not the content of the piece, which is basically half naked women in all of...
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