“MINIMUM SPOT, MAXIMUM IDEA”, PABLO AMARGO IN THE ABC MUSEUM

Among all the disciplines that art offers, illustration is usually the most forgotten. Perhaps because of the feeling of accessibility of this technique in contrast to other more demanding specialities. However, illustration has been considerably updated and is one of the artistic branches in which digital tools have come to stay.

This appreciation of the illustration has changed in recent times, which has given rise to a new generation of young illustrators. In addition, the consideration of this discipline has strengthened, and there are many prizes now awarded to creators who previously used pencil and paper and are now using the digital brush more and more frequently.

This is precisely the case of Pablo Amargo, illustrator born in Oviedo who has taken his works beyond our borders and has wide international recognition. Pablo owns many awards and mentions, such as the National Illustration Award granted by the Ministry of Culture in 2004, or the most recent awarded by the New York Society of Illustrators in 2016 and 2017. Furthermore, in 2016 he won the Graphic Award, in recognition for his contribution to Spanish visual culture.

Pablo's work has evolved in permanent connection with the publishing sector. His illustrations are a conscious exercise of simplification and minimalism, with an intentional game of comedy and witticism that honours the maxim "less is more". The exhibition dedicated today by the ABC Museum of Illustration responds precisely to this spirit, with the title "Minimum spot, maximum idea", which includes the original works of two of his most recent series: "Cats are paradoxes" and "Casualidad".

Black and white, the naked line and the play of contrasts are essential elements in Pablo's work. This search for visual double meanings, paradoxes on paper has led him to illustrate on several occasions the covers of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Jot Down Magazine or National Geographic, among others. A good opportunity to know the proposals of this consolidated cartoonist.

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.