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Paola de Grenet –La primauté de l’émotion


Born in Milan, Italy, in 1971. Paola began her photographic career in London after concluding her studies in Graphic Design at the Camberwell College of Arts. She has collaborated with The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and Penguin Publishers. In 2003 she moved to Barcelona, where she still lives, and started her personal project around the life of transsexuals in Spain. She was a finalist in Descubrimientos PhotoSpain with her series “The waiting room”. She has exhibited at the CaixaForum, PhotoMiami, Berlineliste and Art Madrid, among others. Won the FotoPress’07 scholarship and received the Marco Pasaresi award in 2009. 
She is represented by the Gallery 3Punts(Barcelona). Driven by the need to voice the inner world, she photographs the outer world to discover what is universal to Man. 

“When I photograph somebody, while I am focusing on an object or situation, I try never to lose track of my emotional side, which serves as my compass and without which I would drown in a glass of water.
This world of emotions is slow and, at times, while I am fascinated by the other side of a life that seems so superficial, frivoulous,fast and free of attachments, it canweigh me down. But without it, I feel dizzy:without it, there are no bridges that connect me to others. In my life and my photography, I come and go through this door, which connects the private with the public. When I am taking a portrait of somebody, I always search,sense and recognize in their features the landscape of their soul, which also belongs to me; then taking a photo of them feels like hugging a friend, regardless of who they are: a transsexual or albino person, a child or a woman, rich or poor, a man or a dog.

For my personal projects I still use film with a square format manual camera. I like using a manual camera because it forces me to look before taking the shot, more then after,as I tend to do when working digital. It is a quite different level of concentration.  I think square format is ideal for the type of portraiture I do; I can be close enough to the person, cherish all the minute details of his/her expression and yet the format allows for space all around the subject, this space for me, represents the personal sphere, a private place asking to be respected.”

Paola de Grenet

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