Alberto García-Alix’s best photograph: self-portrait in a dress made by Elvis

Alberto García-Alix’s best photograph: self-portrait in a dress made by Elvis

This article titled “Alberto García-Alix’s best photograph: self-portrait in a dress made by Elvis” was written by Interview by Sam Jones, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 23rd August 2017

I had a friend called Elvis who made really beautiful knitted clothes. I’d known her since the end of the 1970s, when Spain had just been freed from Francoism and all the drugs began. She had a band and she was really wild – a true character.

Elvis and I ran into each other again in 1999 or 2000 and I said I would shoot her clothes, which were modelled by friends as there wasn’t much money about. Then I decided to put some of them on and take a picture of myself. I was the only man wearing them. I made up my eyes but I didn’t do my hair – and I had a lot more back then. The power in this picture comes from my hands: they’re clenched and that brings a certain violence.

My face is showing no emotion – since that would make it seem staged. I don’t like dramatising faces: I don’t like to weigh down the mask of the face with smiles or whatever. I can see past the clothes and see myself straight away. It’s one of my best self-portraits and I’ve done hundreds. I’ve taken pictures of myself naked or even masturbating. When it comes to my own camera, I have no shame whatsoever.

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