Photography is not an option for Díaz-Maroto. It’s a vital necessity. He always works without hurrying, far from what’s in fashion, and he does not care for modern techniques with digital touching up.
A genuine element of his work is the affection with which he approaches his subject. Men, women, children . . . . His acute sensitivity keeps him from judging trajectories or circumstances. Díaz-Maroto looks at life with respect and visually caresses his lens’s models.
He travels insatiably in the manner of the romantic artists, and France is his main reference point. Arles ended up becoming the destination of his pilgrimages, and year after year he visits the festival where he first made contact with great masters of photography such as Álvarez Bravo, Franco Fontana, Doisneau or Lartigue.
Díaz-Maroto is not an artist opposed to the collective ideal. In the late 1970s he became active in Grupo-28, along with Manuel Sonseca, Rafael Ramírez, Pilar Pequeño and Evaristo Delgado, among others. With them he shared preoccupations, and he exhibited with them for years. Later in the 90s, another great project with Sonseca, Delgado and Julio Álvarez Yagüe: ‘Viaje a Poniente’ (Voyage to the Western Horizon). Together they would capture the unknown essence of the Portuguese soul in a piece of work that surprised both the public and the critics in Madrid in 1996.
His trips never cease. The Sahara, Mexico, Martinique . . . always the Caribbean. Sky, people and music in Cuba. Simple images of human beings, ordinary places and habitats. Once again, the story of the hunter who is hunted.
In 1998 PhotoEspaña Madrid was born, an event that would change the trajectory of creative photography in many ways. At that first edition of the festival José María Díaz-Maroto’s most ambitious project could be seen: 400 square meters of an exhibition in which the passion of human beings was captured “without condemning or troubling.”
Díaz-Maroto has become an indispensable figure in the photography of the last 30 years. His snapshots are in very high demand, and collectors appreciate the fresh air that one can breathe in them. He continues on the path he started on in the 70s with a rudimentary camera and a lot of feeling.