Cristina García Rodero, “El colacho” Castrillo de Murcia, Spain, 1975
Cristina García Rodero, “La Tabua,” Zarza de Montanchez, Spain, 1985
Cristina García Rodero, The Trinity, Lumbier, Spain, 1980
Cristina García Rodero, The Confession, Saavedra, Spain, 1980
Cristina García Rodero, The Curious and Saint Marthe, Fuenfria, Spain, 1986
I tried to photograph the mysterious, true and magical soul of popular Spain in all its passion, love, humor, tenderness, rage, pain, in all its truth; and the fullest and most intense moments in the lives of these characters as simple as they are irresistible, with all their inner strength, as a personal challenge that gave me strength and understanding and in which I invested all my heart.
–Cristina García Rodero
Cristina García Rodero was born in 1949 in Ciudad Real, Spain. She is considered one of the more prominent creative photographers of Spain. Her sensitivity and curiosity towards exploring worlds, together with her continuing and developing photographic work, has made her photographs radiate a force without becoming overwhelmingly exhibitionist or artificial. The images are powerful; they are the real fruit of a passion for life and people. Looking at this photographer’s work is like peering into the lives and feelings of those portrayed, uniting cultures and sensations without borders and distances.
Rodero graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as a painter and was introduced to photography around 1969. In 1973, she began researching and images of holidays, traditions, and rituals in Spain. Without abandoning teaching, she has investigated and photographed popular celebrations as well as religious and pagan traditions mainly in Spain but also in Mediterranean Europe over the years. The result is her book Hidden Spain (1989), which won the Book of the Year Award at the Arles Photography Festival. That same year, she also won the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. Rodero joined Magnum Photos in 2005 and became a full member in 2009.
Rodero visited many countries and submerged herself in cultures and people’s lives, their joys and misfortunes. As a result, both UNESCO and Doctors Without Borders asked her to make photographic records of their activities in different parts of the world. For years, she has been working on a comprehensive monograph entitled Between Heaven and Earth, based on the relationships between festivals, music, sex, and eroticism. She has made many photographs, from hippies in Texas and the Love Parade in Berlin to the south of France, America, the Caribbean, and many other countries.