Alfredo, the enigmatic photographer of 1960s Barcelona pop (and rumbra) music

This story begins on that day Felix MartinezNick name Brubakera collector from Lyon is passionate about it The Spanish Pop Scene of the Sixtiesa batch of Barcelona groups posters at the time. “There will be eight or 10 posters, although I only knew of two or three bands from there: Polar, no And some others – says Martinez -. But the pictures and fonts blew me away. They had a modern twist that was not common on other labels of that wave. So I looked at the signature, which in all cases was the same: Alfredo’s photo. And I thought: Damn, this guy is a stick.

From there a little obsession was born that prompted Félix Martinez to search by land, sea and Google for more material from Foto Alfredo and, above all, Information to give context to your results. The collection has been expanded but most questions remain unanswered. It was the identity of this Alfredo who portrayed many of the percussion and garage groups that swarmed Barcelona in the mid-1960s with avant-garde eyes still rolled up. veil of mystery The scant information collected is inaccessible. Who is unique? what is your family name? Did you work alone or host other photographers in your studio? Why did she become the photographer of choice for so much of the local pop scene?

Message in a bottle

To draw attention to the personality and search for answers to these questions, Félix Martinez organized, in collaboration with the musician and cultural activist Alex Cooper (Alejandro Diez, in his civil life), exhibition Alfredo’s photo. Message in a bottle, which is being presented with endorsements from the Prople Weekend festival in El Palacín de León through February 11th. “We tried to find a trace of Alfredo, but got almost nothing and it made me desperate. We had some great posters but nothing to say about their author. And Alex came up with the idea to take advantage of the gallery to send a message and publicly ask that if anyone knew any information Or a story about Alfredo, they share it with us.

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One of the few direct testimonials that Félix Martinez has received so far is this one Delphine Fernandez Martinezwho was a drummer and founding member of the Savages In his musical notes is the age. Play the drums with “Los Salvaes” (Ediciones Chelsea) devotes a passage to explaining the group visit to the studio made by Alfredo V Number 87 of Conde del Asalto Street in Barcelona, today No de Rambla. There, according to his account, the photographer photographed the musicians, edited their faces, combined them into a poster imitating the Beatles and Dave Clark 5 album covers and made a large print which he placed in the window of his local area. Delfin told us that later many groups would go to Alfredo and tell him that they wanted an image like that of Los Salvajes & rdquor;.

comprehensive vision

Apparently, one of the factors the teams appreciated was the fact that Alfredo not only took photos in his Conde del Asalto studio, but was also responsible for designing logos, choosing fonts, composing images, and printing banners. Posters and postcards in small format Graphic Arts Workshop held by him at No. 74 on Avenida Marques del Duero (Paral lel, for now). “He made the picture for the bands and controlled everything, from start to finish,” notes Martinez. I think in some cases he modified their names, adding the word Group to make it more universal. to have That integrated vision of how the group presents itself It was a very advanced thing at that time. And you can see that he paid a lot of attention to his work Robert Freeman [fotógrafo de los Beatles] and other English photographers of the moment & rdquo;.

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In any case, this fine display of black and white pop images makes up only a small part of the work attributed to the Foto Alfredo we know. The signature “Artists Photographer” (as advertised) is also on many of the record’s covers and photos Leading figures from the local party scene (Peret, Chacho, Chele & mldr;), Copla and Flamenco, as well From boxers to variety entertainers – magicians, showgirls, dancers, comedians – who in those days performed in Paral·lel theaters and in Chinatown’s nightclubs. “In general, Alfredo’s work presents a very interesting picture of this whole diverse world concentrated in a small area of ​​Barcelona at a very specific time, which is why it seems so necessary to feature it and even claim it as the author’s rdquor;.

Sarah Montiel

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Foto Alfredo’s trajectory continued into the ’70s—“He worked with progressive rock groups, but the style was really different, colorful street shots—and he was lost at the end of that decade.” Of all the material I’ve been able to locate, the The last thing showing a site named Foto Alfredo is Photo session by Ann Sarah Montiel It was made in a studio on Rocafort Street in 1979 or 1980, says Félix Martinez. They are very, very cool pictures. Warholian, but I have a feeling that the composition is not by Alfredo although it has the signature of his studio &rdquor ;. From there nothing.

The exhibition that is being presented these days in Lyon is restricted, however, to the pop era of Foto Alfredo, with posters of groups more or less famous –polarAnd the VampiresAnd the Tony Ronald CollectionAnd the mahouts… – and others who have gone through the Barcelona music scene and left no trace, such as arrogant (not to be confused with the band that later became Los Buenos), KingsAnd the The tenth groupAnd the doubleAnd the Louis XVAnd the cron also sleepers. “We want people to give us information about Alfredo Martinez’s supporters, but also about all those groups. I’d like to know, for example, who the Snobs are; for a singer or guitarist to come and explain their story to us & rdquo;

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