The first bikini in Ibiza

29 / 50 by Oriol Maspons, 1953

To renovate a language, it is necessary, at the very least, to introduce unique elements that alter its formula. For Oriol Maspons, creative freedom and a sense of humor —both inextricably linked to his photographic creation— are what gave him access to the world.

The first bikini in Ibiza is a good example of his character. In the middle of Franco’s dictatorship, Maspons photographed Monique Koller on the beach, a picture that was perhaps intended to complete the model’s portfolio, as it was not published. Monique brought her own bikini from France. When a couple of civil guards passed by, they looked at her and laughed. “A girl in a bikini? It was unthinkable! She would have been kicked out from any beach in Spain,” explained Oriol, “it clashed completely with Christian morality.” This image highlights the double standards that existed on the island and throughout Spain in the 1950s.

Maspons worked for some of the most important magazines of his time, such as Gaceta Ilustrada, Paris Match, Elle, Interviú or Boccacio. He also illustrated some books such as Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca or La caza de la perdiz roja (Hunting the red partridge) by Miguel Delibes. In addition, part of his work is exhibited at the MoMa in New York.

Maspons knew how to keep his distance from correctness and conservatism with a special sensitivity for portraits. And that is how he contributed to the renovation of the photographic language that took place in Spain in the 1950s and 1960s.