16 August 17
Posted at 10:39
This is Alfonso, he is a real character living in the village of Gracia in Catalunya.
I first met Alfonso whilst staying in Gracia earlier this year. I was just walking down the street one day & happened to stumble upon Alfonso’s home. He has converted a small balcony area at street level into his home that he shares with his two dogs where he has been living for almost a year, proudly displaying his collection of books, records & images of his hero’s & people he respects. Alfonso’s collection immediately grabbed my attention & I wanted to find out more about the man behind this.
Despite my lack of the Catalan language & Alfonso’s lack of English, we somehow spoke for an hour about everything from classic westerns, boxing but mainly music. Alfonso told me that Highway To Hell by AC/DC was the most important rock album written & that his other hero’s included such diversity as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan to John Wayne, Muhammad Ali & Marilyn Monroe. He had all the Western films featuring John Wayne & others on VHS. I’m not too sure how he played them as I didn’t see a VHS player or TV! He did play his music to me though, changing CD’s rapidly as he spoke about this band & that. He played me bits of music, playing along with ‘air guitar’ to bits of the songs that he loved!
I have just got back yesterday from another visit to Barcelona with my Street Photography. I went to see Alfonso as soon as I got to Gracia. I refrained from disturbing him though as he was shadow boxing to his Christmas Tree! I did speak to him the next day though & he greeted me as he always does saying ‘Ola Guapo’. I took him a print of the last portrait I took of him which he was genuinely pleased to receive. I told him that he could put it next to the photographs of his hero’s but he placed it on his table with his CD player, possibly as an homage to both our love of music.
It was important for me to represent Alfonso through my images of himself & his world. I didn’t want to instruct him on how to pose & as you can see I often turned up at his home to find him having a siesta with his dogs! I wanted to give the viewer of the images the sense of pride that Alfonso has in his collection & how he has made his place of living a home, with everything in its place just as he wants. Hopefully I will get to see Alfonso again on my next trip to Gracia.