Those of you traveling to Madrid this summer are doubly lucky because until July 22nd you will find PHotoEspaña in full swing. The photography festival, a long-standing highlight on the city's summer cultural calendar, brings more than 70 exhibits to town displaying work by history’s and today’s greatest lensmen.
Directed by veteran curator Gerardo Mosquera, this year’s edition—the festival’s fifteenth—follows a theme that could have well been custom-picked for savvy travelers: the internationalization of art, artists, and audiences.
What’s more, with dozens of venues participating across Madrid, PHotoEspaña maps out an itinerary of galleries, museums, and cultural institutes (plus a repurposed water tower, a former slaughterhouse, and even your hotel—if you’re staying at the Westin Palace) that will help you meet cultured madrileños and steer you away from the long, sweaty line at the Prado, which I suspect is not what you are looking forward to the most. Here’s a snapshot:
Círculo de Bellas Artes Young Picasso took art lessons here back in the day. Right now, this distinguished fine arts center is showing striking Spanish Civil War images that had been considered lost until they showed up in Mexico 60 years after Robert Capa mislaid the suitcase that carried them (Iberia had nothing to do with it).
At Teatro Fernán Gómez, a series of photos by regular and meandering visitors of Andy Warhol’s Factory provides an intimate “family album” peek into the workshop of this famous advocate for the wide dissemination of (his) art. For the bigger picture, catch Warhol’s screen tests at Cine Doré, a charming 1920’s theatre that is the Spanish Film Library’s principal projection space and, with tickets costing $3 a pop, your top choice for a cheap date.
Loewe, which is basically Spanish for Hermès, is exhibiting 40 Scott Schuman prints at its chic Gran Vía boutique. Schuman’s street-fashion photographs from around the world can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection and on his influential blog, The Sartorialist, a telling tale about the migration of tastes and an international reference on the art of looking good.
Until July 22nd. Admission free in most cases. Full details at www.phe.es.
Tomas Martin is an Assistant Research Editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo credits: Daniele Tamagni (top); Patricio Crooker (middle); Scott Schuman (bottom)