Everyone knows him for his role as Councilor of Culture of the City Hall of Ibiza, but what many still do not know is that Pep Tur (Sant Antoni de Portmany, 1970) is a versatile artist and self-taught in various disciplines that he has cultivated “since he has use of reason”. His pictorial and photographic work has been exhibited individually in several exhibitions in Ibiza, including the presentation of his photographic work in Milan.
He has participated in numerous group exhibitions as a painter and photographer. As a graphic designer, he created the image of El Supermercat de l’Art de Eivissa for more than a decade. Together with the poet Julio Erranz he published the book of photography ‘Ibiza, Ibiza’, and is also the author of the collection ‘Retalls en Fa Menor’, with illustrations by the painter Paco Romero. His artistic work is currently focused on the urban environment, with the pictorial series ‘Ciutat’ and a more extensive photographic work done with camera and mobile.
In the digital age, can anyone be a good photographer?
I think it is the same as in the analogue era. It is not the medium that makes a photographer good or bad, it is his vision through the camera.
How did the change from analogue to digital photography happen? In your opinion, has this evolution been positive or negative?
I lived it naturally and with economic relief… Not having to reveal was an advantage in that sense. On whether it has been positive or negative, my impression is that it has democratized by cheapening the process and talented people who might not have dedicated themselves to this, now they can do it thanks to the fact that it is possible to take photos directly with their mobile phones.
What do you think about Instagram, Flickr and other social networks as platforms to expose the work of the artists?
Given the lack of galleries that we suffer in general, not only in Ibiza, any platform that serves to disseminate artistic content seems great. In my case, I use Instagram hanging a photo every day.
How were your artistic beginnings?
I draw and paint since I can use reason, with photography I also started very soon, graphic design arrived with time, almost as an extension of what I was already doing.
What other hobbies do you have?
Mainly listen to music, but also movies and television series.
What artists do you admire?
To all those who have taught me things: close people and to whom I will always be grateful for, like Paco Romero, Carles Fabregat, Ben Clark, Germán G. Lama or Vicent Marí, among others. Logically, also artists whose work has impacted me and has moved me, such as Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko or Robert Frank.
What role do photography, graphic design and painting play in your life?
A very important role. I could not be myself if I left that part of my life aside.
Being a Councilor of Culture and Heritage has forced you to put aside your artistic vocation? How do you combine your political life with your artistic side?
The vocation no, but perhaps my artistic presence, not to expose during this period of my life. But I do not stop working on it. I take pictures almost daily and I paint regularly.
Why did you decide to get involved in politics?
I have always been interested in politics and in 2015 the possibility of participating in it at the municipal level arose. I found it an attractive challenge and I do not regret the decision I made. Thanks also to the confidence that the team of Rafa Ruiz put in me.
Many of your photographs are almost pictorial compositions. Is that thin line between both disciplines is your “personal seal”?
I come from the world of painting and that is something that has been transferred to my work as a photographer in a natural way. I give great importance to composition and textures and I think that the two disciplines, in my case, complement each other.
Where does your preference for black and white come from?
I suppose that due to my tendency to simplify the visual impact I am looking for, to homogenize all my work. And I’m not going to lie, because of the visual attraction that black and its contrasts generate for me.
How do you think your pictures would change in full colour?
I do not have to imagine it because I always photograph in colour and then transfer them to black and white. They are different, they are not what I go after.
Pavements, asphalts and boarded-up homes star in many of your photographs. What objective do you pursue with these unusual themes?
In the pavements and asphalts, I discover patterns, plots … With them, I get to focus a lot on the almost pictorial composition, as I mentioned before. It facilitates this unification between painting and photography. With the boarded up there is already a more conceptual discourse: I am very attracted to the idea of these houses hiding the lives that have inhabited them, what was and is not anymore.
Your photographs show your interest in repetitions and geometric figures: how did this idea come about?
It has to do with my tendency towards minimalism. We live surrounded by repetitions and patterns, the only thing I do is look for them to give them a new dimension.
Are you one of those who takes the camera where it goes?
Today, thanks to mobiles, that is a reality. A lot of my current work is done precisely with the mobile. I always have the possibility to take a picture, wherever I am.
How is your photo editing process? Do you attach great importance to post-production?
Yes. When photographing in colour and being the final result in black and white the editing of the photograph is very important, but always attending to the spirit of the result that I am looking for.
You are a versatile artist: if you had to choose a single discipline, which one would you choose?
I think I am multifaceted precisely because I would be unable to keep only one of them. They are all part of the same discourse.
What are your challenges as an artist? Where would you like to go?
The challenge is to convey to others the vision I have of the world around us. About where I would like to go, I suppose to that image that concentrates everything; although, fortunately I think it is impossible and that is precisely the force that makes one need to be continually looking for it.
What places in Ibiza would you like to photograph next?
I do not have a special preference. Due to the type of photography I do, the images appear at any time and place.