“It is natural to wish for some light”

Proyecto H  presents the solo exhibition of the photographer Juan de Sande (Madrid, 1964), with the title It is natural to desire some light. Chapter one, shows his new line of work focused on light that represents a change of register compared to his previous productions.

To understand Sande’s work, it is necessary to know that we are dealing with a double representation system since his photographs are not only a reflection of what the camera captures but also of the intervention of the photographer in objectual reality.

This dual and procedural dimension, which exists in all of Sande’s work, has become central in this latest series dedicated to light. The images are the final result of an intellectual, physical and technical process that takes place in space and time. The photographer is both behind and in front of the lens, he is there, physically, so that what the camera captures is an action of the photographer who in a certain way becomes the elliptical subject of the story.

This exhibition will suppose, in appearance, a radical change with respect to the images to which the author had accustomed us to. However, in the background there is the same concern that has led him to photograph since his beginnings in the 90s. Since, as Sande himself writes in his text for the exhibition, “it is not strange that an author whose main medium is photography is interested in light. What is it if not photography?”

In fact, the challenge of working with light is present in his previous works, such as En sombra en nada (2005-2008), in which he applied light studies to nature that he had previously used for objects in the studio. Well, in any case, light has always been one of the tools that has been used to photograph. On the other hand, the procedural aspect (the imprint of the artist’s intervention) also comes from previous works such as Impossible Point of View (2003-2005) or And let the salmon sing through the streets (2014).


This new series that we now present is the result of two years of work and, as the author himself says, “one more step in my interest in the photographic medium as a work topic”, hence the “first chapter” of his present and future practice.

It is natural to wish for some light intends to “go a little further” from the conventional use of light by photographers. In this work, Sande has dispensed with the “found” light, that is, that which is discovered in different locations, to focus on the “created” light, that which is generated by means of a projector. For this reason, the entire series is entirely made in the studio.

Juan de Sande is a photographer, although he started out first in painting and, more recently, he has also experimented in the field of sculpture. His photographic production is made up of scheduled series, usually large-format. The work reflects on image and artifice, reality and contemporary creation, absence and human presence, through architecture, nature and, more recently, interior spaces. Music, literature, painting and sculpture, very present in his life, also feed his creative work. His photos are the result of a long, complex and systematic process of image construction in the studio, using digital techniques applied to the original photography, which he obtains with medium and large format analog cameras.

His exhibition career began at the end of the 90s, since then he has participated in some of the most prestigious photography and visual arts exhibitions and competitions in Spain, such as the Pilar Citoler, L’Oreal, Purificación García or AENA awards, the Endesa, Generación scholarships 2000 of Caja Madrid and the PhotoEspaña festival. He has received commissions for photobooks or photography magazines, such as Matador, and his work has been present in different editions of fairs such as ARCOMadrid, MadridFoto, ParisPhoto, PhotoMiami or Pulse Miami, among others.

His work is part of important public and private Spanish collections, such as the Iberdrola Collection, the Juan March Foundation, the Alcobendas Collection, the Community of Madrid, the Santander Museum of Fine Arts, the Masaveu Collection or the Club Matador Collection, in addition to collections individuals. Collected in the Dictionary of Spanish Photographers, published in 2014 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, as well as other publications and catalogs.

We accompany this note with a text prepared by Juan de Sande for the exhibition, in which he explains in detail his process and the motivations that have led him to produce this first chapter of a new photographic story.