MANUEL MORQUECHO–MY STORY
I am a late-comer to photography or even to the artistic world. However, I always have had a passion for photography even since I was a young boy growing up in a small town in Central Mexico. I worked from a young age in my uncle’s bakery to draw my parents’ attention since I was part of a big family (I had eleven other brothers and sisters). The smell of fresh baked bread that awake my senses and my story and that of my family became unforgettable moments that remained in my mind like pictures, and later on the story behind several of my future images. I decided to leave my parents’ home when I was 18 years old and find ways to support myself, postponing my dream to become a fine art photographer for many years.
I finally had the opportunity to start studying photography in 2009 when I lived in Guatemala and later on in Washington DC at Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts, graduating in 2014. Since then I have not stopped living my passion and continued to make progress in finding the uniqueness of the narrative behind my images. This uniqueness explores “a fine line that teeters on fantasy and reality.” Although I explores different types of photography in black and white and in color, I have focused on staging my images to better capture this fine line—the world as I see it, feel it and imagine it—and let my fantasy wonder around without any “walls.” I even go as far as designing myself the clothing that many of my models wear in my theatrical images.
Fine Art Photography has allowed me to grasp this uniqueness in an instant, without the distortions caused by the passage of time and the changes in feelings, thereby creating timeless portrayals of my imagination and desires. Moreover, even though my Mexican heritage weighs heavily behind my images, they break national boundaries by transporting the viewers to an unidentifiable interior place of great beauty, peace, and reconciliation.
I have had several solo and group exhibitions in Guatemala, Washington DC, New York City, London and Italy. I am a member of the International Photographic Society (IPS) and have received several awards, including the 2018 Leonardo First Prize for Photography and Digital Art, twice the Washington DC Government Art & Humanities Fellowship, and IPS photographer of the year. My works belong to private and public collections in many countries. I have also curated photographic exhibitions, such as IPS’s 50thanniversary (2017), resulting in the publication of the Society’s first photography book entitled Dialogue through Time.
The journey that I started ten years ago will only end when my heartbeats stop. I am convinced that my art will continue to seduce the viewers to the point that they would be able to feel my images, not just see them, by somehow witnessing their own world and fantasies reflected in my images.
MANUEL MORQUECHO–ARTIST STATEMENT
My art captures my own realities—the world as I feel it or imagine it. I have chosen Photography as my art-instrument because it allows me to grasp these “realities” in an instant, without the distortions caused by the passage of time and changing feelings. My images are captured both in black and white and color creating timeless portrayals of my imagination and desires. Although they reflect somehow my Mexican heritage, they break national boundaries and transport the observers to an unidentifiable interior place of great beauty, peace and compassion.
MANUEL MORQUECHO–CURRICULUM VITAE
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Photography has been always Manuel’s passion. He had to earn a living from a young age, delaying an early development of this passion until 2009, when jumped into the art of digital photography. Manuel’s artistic work reflects his Mexican heritage, focusing on exploring the urban landscape, and the integration of the face and body into fine art. Manuel has had several solo and group exhibitions in Europe and the United States. He is a member of the World Bank-IMF International Photographic Society (IPS) and an awarded artist. Manuel also curated photographic exhibitions.
- 2009, courses with photographer Daniel Chauche, Guatemala City.
- 2010-12, La Fototeca, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
- 2013-14, Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts (CDIA), professional digital photography certificate, Washington, D.C.
- 2019 (June 4th – 15th), Onishi Gallery, solo exhibition, New York City.
- 2019 (May 22th – 26th), London Art Biennale, group exhibition, London.
- 2019 (April 26th – 28th), Leslie-Lohman, group exhibition, New York City.
- 2019 (February 15th – 17th), Parallax Art Fair, group exhibition, London.
- 2018 (August 11th – 19th), Biennale Chianciano Art Museum, Chianciano, Italy.
- 2018 (July, October), Parallax Art Fair, group exhibition, London.
- 2018 (July 9th – 20th), Onishi Gallery, group exhibition, New York City.
- 2018 (June 7th – 29th), group exhibition Pronouns, FxCollaborative architects, New York City.
- 2018-2017, World Bank art collection exhibition, Washington D.C.
- 2018 (February 13th- -24th), Onishi Gallery, winter show group exhibition, New York City.
- 2019-2016, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, group exhibitions, Washington D.C.
- 2019-2014, IPS, group exhibitions, Washington D.C.
- 2017, Artefest, Latinos in Philanthropy, Washington D.C.
- 2015, New York Foundation for the Arts, group exhibition, New York City.
- 2014, CDIA, solo exhibition, Washington D.C.
- 2013, Morquecho art gallery, solo exhibition, Washington, D.C.
- 2012, Morquecho art gallery, solo exhibition Antigua, Guatemala.
- 2010, Embassy of Argentina, group exhibition, Guatemala City.
- 2nd Prize in Photography, London Art Biennale, May 2019.
- 3rd Prize, Focus on the Story, Washington DC International Photo Festival, April 2019.
- Circle Foundation for the Arts (CFA) Artist of the Year Award and Grant 2018-19, finalist certificate (100 Artists were selected for a finalist award, 863 artists participated in the contest worldwide), January 2019.
- Onishi Gallery Solo Exhibition Award (September 2018—selection among 45 artists).
- Leonardo first prize award for photography at the 2018 Chianciano biennale (11th – 19th August 2018).
- The 2017-18 and 2016-17 Washington D.C. Government Art & Humanities Fellowship.
- Image Transition selected by National Geographic as one of the best for entries to the Gift of Life—your shot (May 2017).
- Image Transition selected by Lensculture among the top-rated entries in magnum photography awards 2017.
- Image my Memories selected by Lensculture among the top 7 percent of all entries received, portrait awards, 2016.
- IPS Photographer of the Year 2015-16.
- IPS Rookie of the Year, 2013-14.
- Dialogue through Time—book commemorating the 50th anniversary exhibition of the IPS, 2016.
- 2014, curator for the IPS exhibition at CDIA, Washington D.C.
- 2016, curator for the 50th anniversary exhibition of the IPS, Washington D.C.