Álvaro Laiz (b.1981) is a Spanish photographer and artist whose work deals with narratives where traditional culture, nature and industrial development converge. Since 2014 he has committed himself to explore the links between our distant past and our near future through a multidisciplinary study of hunter-gatherers populations, revealing the profound connection between natural world and ourselves.
For Álvaro, the artistic practice and way of living resemble a kind of labyrinth. The concept of the unknown and the element of surprise of what awaits you is the invitation to enter. Once you are inside, research, self-discovery, awareness, analysis and exploration, all feed into the development of the story; and when you get out of the labyrinth, the perception of that story is never the same.
The Labyrinth is a metaphor for self-awareness, change and evolution, either by inviting you to consume the story or by subtly addressing personal experiences. In this journey of discovery and self-discovery, the movement is always quiet and slow, allowing viewers to come into the scene and let things happen. A labyrinth can aesthetically shape the way of seeing.
In 2017 he published his first book The Hunt
(Dewi Lewis/RM, 2017), a reconstruction of a Moby-Dick-alike story of man against nature’s most fearsome and efficient predator in the Boreal Jungle: the Siberian tiger. It was presented at Les Rencontres d'Arles 2017 and selected by the British Journal of Photography as Best of 2017
Álvaro´s work has been recognized by a number of institutions including Magnum and Ideas Tap Foundation, Burn Photography, Visura, Photolucida or Center Santa Fe. He is also the recipient of the 2016 National Geographic Explorer´s Grant for his ongoing project “The Edge”. a journey following the steps of the paleo-Siberian populations through the Bering Strait Bridge 20,000 years ago to become the first settlers in America.
His work, both photography and large scale video installation, resides in public and private collections such as Museo de América or Fundación INELCOM, curated by Vicente Todolí, and have been exhibited in museums and art fairs such as Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL) in Paris, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León (MUSAC). His editorial clients include National Geographic, New York Times, Traveller or Forbes among others.AWARDS (selection)1st Place Portraiture Category Sony World Photography Award 20196x6 Global Talent World Press Photo 2018PDN´s 30 2018 National Geographic Explorer Program Grant, 2017Winner Juror´s Choice Award Center, Santa Fe, 2016Winner FotoVisura Grant for Outstanding Personal Project, 2015Emerging Photographer Fund Finalist, 2015Finalist Magnum-Ideas Tap Foundation Award, 2015Honorary Mention Photographic Museum of Humanity, 2015British Journal of Photography Ones to Watch, 2014Gold Medal China International Photographic Art Exhibition, 20131st Prize Contemporary African Photography Award, 20132nd Prize Festival Internacional de Fotografía de México (FINI), 2013Fórum Photographic Can Bastè Grant, 20121st Prize Revela International Photography Award, 20122nd Prize Pride International Photography Contest, 2012COLLECTIONS (selection)
Banco Sabadel, Barcelona, SpainINELCOM, Madrid, SpainFundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia, León, SpainMuseo de América, Madrid, SpainHEF Investment, Madrid, SpainSOLO EXHIBITIONSThe Hunter, Galería Freijo (Madrid, Spain) 2016Fósil, Museo de la Minería de Sabero (León, Spain) 2016The Hunter, Fundación Cerezales Antonino y Cinia (FCYCAC) (León, Spain) 2015Fosil, comissioned by MUSAC museum (León, Spain) 2015Future Plans, Photon Festival (Valencia, Spain) 2015Transmongolian, Cortona on the Move (Cortona, Italy) 2014Wonderland, DOCFIELD, IlMondo Gallery (Barcelona, Spain) 2014Wonderland, Fucares Gallery (Madrid. Spain) 2014Future Plans, Fundación Can Basté (Barcelona, Spain) 2013Transmongolian, PhotoEspaña´12 Galería Fúcares (Madrid, Spain) 2012
GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection)The Hunter, Cambio de Rumbo Tabacalera (Madrid) 2017Future Plans, State Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia) 2016Transmongolian, Athens Photo Festival (Athens, Greece) 2016Wonderland / Transmongolian MAC/VAL Museum (Paris, France) 2015Wonderland, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Castilla y León (MUSAC) (León. Spain) 2014 Future Plans Pondycherry Festival (Pondycherry, India) 2014 Transmongolian, Hungry Still, Format Gallery (Derby, United Kingdom) 2014Future Plans, Athens Photo Festival (Athens, Greece) 2013Future Plans, Delhi Photo Festival, India Habit Center (New Delhi, India) 2013Future Plans, Festival Internacional del Foto de México (Mexico DF, Mexico) 2013Future Plans, Vogele Kultur Centrum (Zúrich, Switzerland) 2013Atlantes, Feria Internacional ARCO, Galería Fúcares (Madrid, Spain) 2013Future Plans, POP CAP´13 (Basel, Switzerland) 2013Future Plans, Lagos Photo Festival (Lagos, Nigeria) 2013Pride Photo Award, the Old Church (Ámsterdam, Netherlands) 2012Premio Internaciona de Fotografía Revela, Can Basté (Barcelona, Spain) 2012