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Travels
Aug 12, 2010

New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape  

  I recently saw this exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “A turning point in the history of photography, the 1975 exhibition New Topographics signaled a radical shift away from traditional depictions of landscape. Pictures of transcendent natural vistas gave way to unromanticized views of stark industrial landscapes, suburban sprawl, and everyday scenes not usually given a second glance. This restaging of the exhibition includes the work of all 10 photographers from the original show: Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel.” While […]

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Travels
Jul 13, 2010

The Icon  

      Less than two years ago, in December 2008, condo mogul Jorge Pérez unveiled his $1.3 billion self-proclaimed “legacy,” the ICON Brickell in downtown Miami. With 1650 residences and a 150 room boutique hotel in three 50-story towers, it is Florida’s largest condominium development. The complex features “signature designs” by Yoo and “inspired by” Philippe Starck, including a unique entryway “envisioned by Starck as a dark cave illuminated by light emitted from the watchful “eyes” of mammoth columns” shaped like carved human faces. Marketing materials also promised a 28,000 square-foot state-of-the-art spa, a two-acre terrace and pool deck […]

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Preserving the Cortijo del Fraile  

Federico Garcia Lorca’s drama Blood Wedding was inpsired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm known as El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the ruins of the farm remain in the remote countryside of Nijar in Almeria, accessible only by a poorly marked, unpaved road. The site also appeared in Sergio Leone’s 1966 film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, starring […]

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Save the Cortijo del Fraile  

Federico Garcia Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre was inspired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm called El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the ruins of the farm remain in the remote countryside of Nijar in Almeria, accessible only by a poorly marked, unpaved road. Unfortunately, after years of neglect, the site is now rapidly deteriorating. This state of decay makes for compelling […]

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Press
Jan 8, 2010

Interview in La Voz de Almeria  

Spanish journalist Federico Utrera conducted this interview with me by email about my photography and relation to Spain. Utrera is based in Madrid but is originally from Almeria. I first met him last year when he was writing about my uncle Federico Castellon. I was flattered that he took the time to review my portfolio in detail and propose some thoughtful questions. The article appeared in the La Voz de Almeria print edition just before the holidays. The portrait photo is by Stirling Elmendorf. Click on the image below to see the full size article.

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Travels
Oct 23, 2009

The Past is Not What it Used to Be  

The walk to the Centro de la Imagen, on the Plaza de La Cuidadela in central Mexico City, took me past 20-foot-high temporary steel barricades and hundreds of police in riot gear, in preparation for a massive protest the same day. The main exhibition, titled Presencia Flagrante, showcases the work of contemporary photographers Marcos Lopez and Ruben Ortiz Torres. While I’m already a fan of Lopez’ colorful staged scenes, commenting on consumerism and Latino stereotypes, Ortiz Torres’ work was new to me. This body of work, titled “El pasado ya no es lo que era,” focuses on archeological treasures the […]

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Events
Oct 22, 2009

Spanish Ghosts: Notes on the Locations  

I provided some information at the Spanish Ghosts exhibition about the locations where the photographs were taken. These buildings and spaces have many intriguing stories behind them that add to their significance. Here are the descriptions: Cortijo del Fraile: Federico Garcia Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre was inspired by a true story that appeared in a Spanish newspaper in 1928. A bride-to-be ran off with another man (her cousin) the night before the wedding, but the groom’s brother discovered the couple and shot and killed the lover. The bride-to-be lived on a farm called El Fraile. Over 75 years later, the […]

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Events
Oct 11, 2009

Spanish Ghosts opening  

Thanks to all who came out for the opening of Spanish Ghosts: Spain’s Abandoned Architecture last thursday. The event was a great success — a couple hundred people turned up throughout the evening to view the photos and taste spanish wines and chocolates. The event was also a great start to the SpainDC month-long celebration of spanish culture. The exhibit will remain up at Studio B at Biagio Fine Chocolate throughout the end of October. Feel free to drop by for another look and to read about the stories behind the buildings and locations in Spain where the photographs were […]

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Events
Oct 4, 2009

Spanish Ghosts: Spain’s Abandoned Architecture  

Photographs by Mark Parascandola   Opening Reception: Thursday, October 8, 6:00-8:30 Free Spanish chocolate and wine tasting! Studio B at Biagio Fine Chocolate 1904 18th Street NW (between T Street and Florida Avenue)Washington DC Chocolate samples from Biagio Fine Chocolate Spanish wine tasting by Tradewinds Specialty Imports The landscape of Spain is dotted with abandoned structures, ghosts of a multi-layered history. Preserved in the arid climate, these architectural remains reveal the impact of time, weather, and transient visitors who have left their own mark. The subjects in this series of photographs include the Carabanchel prison in Madrid, a salt-eroded church […]

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