Art

Pensioner’s Paradise with Maria Moldes

So far, my series has featured pensioners. This is because the area where I live, the Costa Blanca in Spain, is a classic tourist destination, where a lot of Europeans choose to retire.

Interview by Teo J. Babini - teo@citizenbrooklyn.com Art by Maria Moldes
Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

I understand you originally gained attention for your work via Instagram. Do you feel like Instagram is an effective tool for aspiring artists to show their work? Any drawbacks of Instafame? Have you had your work displayed in any other formats?

Instagram has been very important for me when it comes to making my work known outside my city and my country. If I didn’t have Instagram, it would have been really unlikely for a magazine from Brooklyn to interview me when I’m only just starting in my career… Instagram has allowed me to share ideas with photographers from all over the world, as well as be part of the first ever mobile photography book – “Out of the Phone” – and be featured by international media.

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

In addition of using social media and the internet in general, I have had my photography in exhibitions in Spain. But everything outside of the online world happens at a very slow pace and has less impact.

When shooting with the iPhone, do you use any special apps or physical attachments? How do your post-produce your photos?

I use the iPhone camera as it comes. I then edit the photos slightly, I recompose them and increase the saturation. I use Snapseed, but a lot of the time I edit them directly on Instagram. I don’t spend a huge amount of time editing, I spend most of my time in getting the right capture, getting out on the streets looking for people, situations, colors and light that I like.

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Have you ever been caught sneaking a shot?

I have never been caught. I don’t hide when I shoot , I don’t think people notice me or think I’m doing anything suspicious. I’ve never had any problems.

Are most of your subjects elder Spanish natives, or pensioners from other European countries? Can you spot the difference?

So far, my series has featured pensioners. This is because the area where I live, the Costa Blanca in Spain, is a classic tourist destination, where a lot of Europeans choose to retire. In addition to this, Spain has an aging population, and this has contributed to my interest in observing and photographing them.

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

The obvious difference between the local pensioners and those who come here on holiday, is that the latter look happier, they are enjoying life. You can tell from their facial expressions, the way they dress in brighter colors, the effort that women make with their appearance, and they also exercise and show affection in public, like holding hands. The locals have a more monotonous life, and some of them look like they have accepted a life without hope…

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

You mention that you are inspired by Sci-Fi and Mystery films, but I actually get a bit of an Almodovar feeling. Is this due to common Spanish culture or are you also inspired by his work aesthetically?

Almodovar has no doubt influenced the way I see things. He is one of my favorite film directors. I love his aesthetics, his feeling and his sense of humor; and even though Spain doesn’t really look like it does in one of his films, there are elements that can be found in his films that are very Spanish, like older women with big hairdos, bright make up and with very peculiar ways and dress sense.

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

What are some of your favorite films?

I love any of the films of Hitchcock or Almodovar… The mixture of the two would be perfect! I also like the Sci-Fi of the fifties and sixties “The Body Snatchers”, “X”…

What should we expect going forward? Any ideas for a new series?

My new series ‘Gammacity’ will be launched in March at an exhibition in Parking Gallery, Alicante. In this series, I have swapped the sand for tarmac, I have created something based in the reality of the city where I live, an imaginary city where the ageing inhabitants roam the streets like robots. Pensioners continue to be the focus, but this time in a darker and more oppressive setting. I am also planning another series for the summer, about which I am very excited, where the influence of the Sci-Fi genre will be more noticeable. My plan is to eventually publish a photo book for each of my series.

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

Photo © Maria Moldes

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