José Suárez Fernández

Category: Photographer and film director
Birth Date: In 1902 (†5th January 1974)
Birth Place: Allariz (Ourense)

Since he was very young he showed his vocation for photography and it was in 1932 while he was studying Law in Salamanca that he published a small photography book titled 50 Fotos de Salamanca, prologued by his good friend Miguel de Unamuno. During that time, he also carried out an intense photographic and documentary work all around the Galician villages, making an exhibition at the Circle of Fine Arts of Madrid in 1935. As he was very successful with this exhibition, he exhibited his photographies that same year in Paris, sponsored by the Spanish Tourism Office.

 Work & Activities

As a documentary photographer he made four films: ‘Mariñeiros’, ‘Oleiros’, ‘Canteiros’ and ‘Feirantes’. He carried out a very important cinematographic activity in Argentina. In 1938, he was the photography director in the film ‘Los Caranchos de la Florida’ and in 1939 he directed La Mujer y el Jockey. During the 40’s, he collaborated with important newspapers and magazines such as ‘El Día’ and ‘La Prensa’ and published his book Nieve en los Andes. In 1954, he travelled to Japan, where he carried out an important work on photographic documentation about Japanese life and customs that he exhibited in 1957 at Van Riel Gallery in Buenos Aires. Besides, he collaborated in the North American magazines ‘Life’ and ‘U.S. Camera’. He made a very important documentary work about bullfighting, which was later published in Great Britain with the title The Life & Death of the Fighting Bull.

 Other Interesting Aspects

In 1942, he got a prize for his photographic work in the film ‘Malambo’ and was nominated as a member of the Academy of Cinematographic Sciences and Arts of Argentina. His work was included in several exhibitions such as the collective exhibition ‘Idas y Caos. Aspectos de las vanguardias fotográficas en España’ (Madrid, 1984), the photography exhibition ‘Fotobienal Vigo-84’ and the collective exhibition ‘Ollares no tempo’ (A Coruña, 1985).