Jumo Avilés — Village creatures

Jumo Avilés is a Spanish photographer and designer. His work wants to investigate the relationship between our bodies and and nature around us. 

Jumo Avilés focuses on Andalusia and its people, its colors and the beauty of its landscapes.
I asked him about his art and this is what come out of it. 

How did you start your artistic career and what are your main inspirations?

First of all, thanks for the interest in my work.
There isn’t an exact moment, everything has been very progressive since my adolescence, when I began to drive my studies and time to this direction. Since I was a child, I have always been very attracted to distant and different worlds, I always wanted to be in another place.
However, my inspiration comes from my village (Torreperogil), my family and our special characteristics. 

What do you look for in your subjects and why?

I prefer to work with people around me like my family or friends. Each of them has a different body: it doesn’t matter if they don’t have any modeling experience.
I think they are the ones that best reflect our reality and appear as the most interesting.
We were not very used to seeing images representing non-stereotypical models, but beauty is more than thick lips and a slim body. 

What is the main message of your work and how do you use technology and graphic design? 

Without realizing it, we have reached a moment when physical contact can be considered a new luxury for many of us. Technology, social networks, education, certain phobias or the fear of a virus drive us away from the essential.
I think the future must not be like in those sci-fi movies, white, cold and without feelings.
The future has to recover nature as our main reference and stop the feels of guilt or shame for the body shape and gender. That is why at this moment I am interested in investigating something as simple and basic as a hug and human contacts.
I like to use technology and graphic design, not to create special effects, but to better reflect this reality.

How did you like your collaboration with Vogue Spain? Do you have any new collabs in mind you would like to share with us?

I am always open to new collaborations. They are an opportunity to meet other artists with the same passions but different perspectives. At this moment I am developing a personal project for LGTBI in summer, that makes me especially excited.

I noticed you mainly take photos in Andalusia and you like to focus on its landscapes a lot. Why is that? Would you like to explore more places and cultures?

I have also looked outside, in the exotic, in what I didn’t have.
I am very attracted to diversity and other cultures but now more than ever, I realize that I want to start my work from my origin, my village, my culture and my family and represent them from a personal perspective. 
I have become aware that Andalusian people still retain that purity, the contact with the land, the ability to feel responsible for the others and the desire to embrace, touch their skin and feel like family and community. I want to share all of this in my work. 

You often hide your subjects’ faces in your art. Is there a specific reason to it?

It is a little unconscious, I think it happens to many artists today.
On one hand, working with non-professional models or family sometimes requires us to take their privacy into consideration, especially if there are nudes. There are still barriers to the nude, unfortunately.
On the other hand, in my work I am more interested in the body than the face. I am very attracted to the skin, regardless of gender or sex, the mixture of the bodies and how they create the feeling of support, of connections, of community and contact with nature and the earth. 


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