The discovery of a teacher

Centro León de Santiago, in the Dominican Republic, the name of Wifredo García was totally unknown to me, as it is for most of the inhabitants of Catalan-speaking lands. 

From now on, however, with the exhibition Wifredo García: Peculiar obsessions, first in the Dominican Republic and later in Barcelona, ​​the name of this great photographer will surely be part of that collective imagination that highlights the historical relationship between Catalans and the Caribbean

It is well known that migratory waves are part of our history. Sometimes, due to economic needs, such as during the 19th century; in others, for reasons of political persecution, as in the twentieth century by the collapse that led to the Spanish Civil War, especially during the hard years of the postwar period and the Franco regime. Both the Caribbean and Latin America have shown their generosity in welcoming us when our environment was adverse.

Anyway, sometimes, beyond the topics, that we could synthesize with the figure of the
"Indiano", this Catalan trace is unknown, either because the popular memory of the Caribbean has forgotten its origins or because the last generations of ours do not know it.

Wifredo García is one of the forgotten. It has been a pleasure to discover this great master of photography.
Images that, as a European, connect directly with the tradition of objective realism, but at the same time they reveal an impulsive look, a way of doing that is, in the words of its author, "simply Dominican". Nature in its purest state, human landscape from the detail, with an exceptional technique and a domain of the medium, both in black and white and in color. But not only a teacher in his art, but also a person of didactic vocation, who taught and transmitted to the young generations his vision and that of other previous masters of Dominican photography. In this way, he wove a collective imagination and became part of the identity and history of the country where he arrived when he was eleven years old. From the agitation of photographic associations, shared with other photographers and with all those who wanted to get involved, he committed himself day by day to build, dignify and transform this art.

And the most curious thing. He did not want to be a photographer, but a writer. He came to the picture with all his literary passion, with the intention of constructing a syntax of photography because he believed that "content is the form". He surpassed, therefore, the simple professional to be what he wanted to be a photographer: "poet of the image". His work amply shows that he achieved it.

Taken from the book Wifredo García Peculiares Obsessions.

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