16 / 25 by Tony Catany, 2007
A commission from the Gandía City Council was the starting point for this photograph, Escariano. The Consistory commissioned him to produce a book offering a personal view of the book Tirant lo Blanc. After months gathering information, an essential character —Escariano— was still missing to complete the visual plot he intended to create.
Fascinated by the photographic archive of the parish priest of his tow, Tomás Monserrat, Catany became a self-taught photographer. He had a sharp eye, a gift he displays to the fullest in this image, in which he managed to transform something earthly into myth.
In the holy city of Lalibela —where he traveled after receiving an invitation from poet Manuel Forcano— during a purification ceremony, he recognized King Escariano in a young man who was putting on a justacorps over his sweatsuit and a heavy golden metal crown on his head. After a first snapshot, which brought a smile to the model’s face, he managed to capture the eternal gaze of the Lord of the Blacks of Ethiopia.
His pictorialist images, and his versatility in the use of multiple techniques to photograph nudes, landscapes, portraits or still lifes, have earned him unanimous recognition in the field of photography. Life magazine named him one of the 100 best photographers in the world and was the winner of Spain’s National Photography Award in 2001.