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Virxilio Vieitez

Discovered at the end of the 90’s, Virxilio Vieitez’s work is that of a self-taught man who had been a public photographer in his native region of Terra de Montes, Galicia, Spain, from 1957 until his retirement in 1980.
Devoid of artistic or sociological ambitions, his numerous portraits are rigorously composed: straight and frontal point of view, models in the center, rigid gestures, chosen settings and props. Nevertheless, rejecting the studio, he worked outside. Arguably, this paradoxical relationship with the conventions of staged portraits explains the strangeness of most of his photographs.

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Full portraits (1960)

The years 1958-1960 were the most prolific. Vieitez made numerous full portraits that often were sent to people who had drifted from the poor Galician coutryside. Emigration explains why Vieitez’s photographs are often full of the absence of relatives and mostly show children, women and old people. It explains strange objects, too, such as the photograph showing an old woman with her radio who proves to her son that she used the money he sent her from abroad properly. Photography is then, in a familial circle, a means of communication.

Daily life (1960)

Vieitez documented the different episodes, either solemn or common, of the daily life in his countryside. Nevertheless, it’s hard to speak of reporting. These photographs are, instead, portraits. Everybody is very conscious of the presence of the photographer who controls the scene. Most of all, his aim was not to steal photos but to produce photo-souvenirs to sell to clients.


Virxilio Vieitez

Text by: Laura Terré

Publisher: La Fabrica (2008)
112 pages
Size: 13 x 18 cm


De combinatie van een natuurlijke achtergrond, krachtige koppen en onverwachte voorwerpen geven de foto's een vreemde, surrealistische sfeer die opvallend hedendaags is. Maar 'Album' is bovenal een ontroerend en ontwapenend document van het leven in een voorbije tijd.
Text by: M. Sendón, X. L. Suárez Canal

Publisher: Vigo : Centro de Estudos Fotográficos (1998)
176 pages
Size: 22x16 cm  

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