Internationally recognized and one of the most important names in fashion photography, his long career also deserves a thorough review, which we will develop from the Photographic Foundation in collaboration with the photographer, to highlight his powerful authorial voice and his excellent work as a portraitist, as well as to bring out light his interesting archive.
From graphic designer to photographer
Born in Galicia, at the age of ten he moved with his parents to Barcelona. At school he always had very good grades in all artistic activities. After finishing primary education, he joined the prestigious Massana School, where he graduated in Graphic Design.
His work as a graphic designer and art director was recognized in several editions of the Laus Award and he combined work in his studio with the art direction of the supplement La Vanguardia Mujer. He was also a member of the board of directors of the ADG-FAD (Association of Graphic Designers for the Promotion of the Arts). In 1997, he moved to New York, where he opened his studio on the Lower East Side, specialized in image and visual communication for fashion designers. In 1990, Richard Martin, director of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), comissioned him to curate and design the first Elsa Peretti retrospective for Tiffany & Co.
Back in Barcelona, he continues his work and he collaborates with the best photographers of the moment. Until one day, when the photographer who Outumuro had commissioned a session could not come to work. So, Outumuro took his old Pentax, which he usually used for the sessions’ make of, and shot for the first time with a model in front of him. The revelation he experienced was of such an impact that he decided to change typography for photography.
The turn of the century through portraiture and fashion
More than ten thousand negatives and a large amount of digital material portray the change from the 20th to the 21st century, based on two photographic disciplines. On the one hand, the portrait, with a chronicle of the very important people in society, science and culture of our time. And on the other, fashion, graphically documenting the history and aesthetic values of clothing, at a national and international level.
Outumuro has always understood photography as a craft, he often says that he does not consider himself an artist but rather a craftsman, this is how he defines the love that certain people feel for the job to which they give their lives.
Awards and new challenges
At the beginning of the nineties, with the emergence of the international phenomenon of top models, Outumuro was a pioneer in visualizing the first generation of supermodels in our country. This stage coincides with the arrival in Spain of iconic international publications, in their editions in Spanish, such as Marie Claire, Elle, or Harper’s Bazaar, in which the photographer has published regularly, as well as in supplements to large national newspapers such as the Sunday newspaper of La Vanguardia or as El País Semanal, with which he continues to collaborate after 30 years.
Among the eight published books, which collect a large part of his work, it is worth highlighting: “Looks”, with 250 fashion photographs exhibited in the first major retrospective exhibition dedicated to him by the Barcelona City Council, and “El libro de los retratos” (The Book of Portraits), an edition of La Fábrica with 200 photographs of different personalities from the arts and culture.
Nearly twenty individual exhibitions have shown the photographer’s snapshots in renowned museums and entities. One of the last was “De barro y luz” (Of mud and light), programmed by PhotoEspaña at La Lonja in Zaragoza, where he showed an anthological collection of his best portraits.
His photographs are part of several private and institutional collections, such as the photography collection of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid).
Throughout his career, the author has received a large number of awards and recognitions, both national and international. It is worth highlighting one of the most recent, because in October 2022 Outumuro became the first Spanish photographer to receive a prestigious Lucie Award – Achievement in Fashion Photography, a category that in other editions has distinguished renowned professionals in the sector such as David Bailey , Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh or Ellen Von Unwerth, at a gala held annually in New York, where photographers from around the world pay tribute to their most outstanding colleagues.