“Spain!” he said. “You have to meet my friend the fashion photographer Manuel Outumuro. He lives in a palace!” Little did he tell me that he is the Richard Avedon of Spain and has shot for all the top magazines and had major exhibits dedicated to him.
When we got to Madrid, I emailed Manuel and he told us he was doing a shoot at the Museo Sorolla and we should come over. Since the museum, which is in the artist Joaquin Sorolla’s former home, was closed that day, I asked how would we get in? “Just ring the bell and tell them Manuel sent for you.”
We did and there was Manuel shooting a spread for the 25th anniversary of Marie Claire in Spain. He was photographing the women of Pedro Almodóvar, perhaps my favorite movie director. I’ve seen every one of his films. Manuel’s extremely talented partner, José Juan Guzmán, was doing the makeup and hair. We got to meet Rossy De Palma, who I’ve adored for many years. She’s like the Sally Bowles of Spanish cinema. Manuel also arranged for us to have a private tour of the museum. Manuel has photographed great stars, including Penelope Cruz, Jarvier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, and many others. In Madrid, we also had a meal at Javier Bardem’s sister’s restaurant, La Bardemcilla, which is covered in photos of the Bardem family.
Back in Barcelona, we had dinner with Manuel in the Old City and visited his studio, which is in a historic palazzo. At one time it was owned by Eusebi Güell, Gaudi’s patron. Manuel showed us the archive, which is a 21st century version of Henry Higgins’s library, swinging open the doors to the stunningly frescoed room. When he bought the palazzo, the ceiling was lowered and the frescos were painted over by nuns who ran a school. As he was cleaning a wall, a hand emerged and after 3 years of intensive restoration, the room is covered in frescoes.
We went to Manuel and José’s home, and on our last day they toured us around town in their car. To see the Parc Guell and the Barcelona Pavilion with people with such a wealth of knowledge is amazing. I have posted some of the shots from the Marie Claire spread and a few other portraits from Manuel’s work. I can’t wait to go back to see these wonderful new friends.