Extremaduran photographer Juan Carlos Martínez, winner of the Santiago Castelo award in 2022, dies

Juan Carlos Martínez received the first prize in the Santiago Castelo 2022 contest in October. / armando mendez

Born in Campanario in 1978, he was a well-known visual artist with numerous awards, work in national collections and publications.

Cristina Nunez

The world of contemporary art mourns the death yesterday Friday of the photographer Juan Carlos Martínez (Campanario, 1978). The author from Badajoz, who took his own life, lived in Madrid and received the Santiago Castelo 2022 international photography prize in Cáceres last October, a contest organized by the Unesco Center of Cáceres, which has publicly expressed its condolences this Saturday for the loss of this renowned and charismatic author, whose funeral will take place today in Campanario. Mass will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the local church.

Juan Carlos Martínez had a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Seville and had developed his work in the field of photography. At the age of 44, he had an interesting artistic career and had won numerous awards such as the ABC for painting and photography in 2008, which was given to him by the then Minister of Culture César Antonio Molina. His list of awards also included the Unicaja de Artes Plásticas. In 2019 he was a finalist for Pilar Citoler.

Grants and exhibitions

His work can be found in national collections and publications. Among his individual exhibitions, “Miraderos. I´m looking for” at the San Jorge de Cáceres Cultural Center and “Spermopsida Expedition”, “Reality Show” and “The Journey Continues” at the Fernando Pradilla Gallery in Madrid. The work of Juan Carlos Martínez has been published in ‘Dictionary of Spanish Photographers’ and ‘Contemporary Spanish Art 1992-2013’, both published by the Factory. He also left his artistic trail in the prestigious EXIT magazine.

He also received numerous scholarships such as the Unicaja Photography in 2011, the Ministry of Culture at the College of Spain in Paris (2009) or the Mexican Government scholarship at the Image Center (2008), Caja Madrid Generations (2007 and 2009), among others.

The author started from the documentary image “to create stories, fragmented narratives throughout a search process in which he addresses sociological issues related to youth, entertainment, masculinity, sports or social networks,” according to the report. Unesco Center when he presented the award last fall.

Regarding the winning work, where the silhouette of a soccer player can be distinguished among the stubble, he pointed out that he had dealt with some concepts addressed in other parts of his work, such as “the hidden body, the cataloging of botanical species that have the ability to camouflage and that make up the identity of many types of landscapes, the documentation of athletes and physical exercise in different locations».

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