Loewe has had a long-standing love affair with the art world. Since 1988, when The Loewe Foundation was established by a fourth-generation member of Loewe’s founding family, the Spanish luxury house has been on a mission to safeguard the arts and promote creativity. With their ninth exhibition for the international photography and arts festival, PHotoEspaña, Loewe are rekindling the sparks.
At this year’s festival, held on Loewe’s home turf in Madrid, festival curator Maria Millán has shifted her gaze to Europe, choosing to shine the light on French artist and writer Hervé Guibert. The exhibition showcases 50 of the artist’s photographs, most in black and white. The self-portraits and still lifes stand out for their composition, playing with light and shadow, with each of the works providing an intimate window into the subject’s life. They invite the viewer in to engage with the work, reflecting back to their own reflections and life experiences. Through this process each viewer will cultivate an image only existing in their own mind’s eye – a ghost image.
The exhibition is made all the more poignant by the tragedy of Guibert’s life. He rose to acclaim with two thinly disguised fictional novels centred around a man’s first-hand account with his battle with AIDS, To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life and Protocol of Pity. From the acclaim of these best-sellers, Guibert helped spread awareness and promote support for the AIDS epidemic. Then, in 1991, the artist fell prey to the disease at the age of 36, leaving behind an important photographic oeuvre. Through this exhibition that highlights the work of a man who committed his life to service the LGBTQI cause, Loewe is aiming to help create consciousness around instances and marginalisation that persist in many parts of our world today.