Miguel Vallinas and his modified human portraits

Posted by Sara Sanz Aldea


Miguel Vallinas is a photographer from Medina del Campo in Valladolid, Spain, who spends most of his time doing artistic photography. He’s been very passionate about art since his early childhood and has always felt the need to express himself through creative activities.

He currently works with art galleries in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania, and his work has been displayed in cities such as Madrid, Paris, London, Berlin, Quebec, New York, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Singapore, Melbourne and a long etc. He’s also been at exhibitions like Photoespaña, Art Madrid, Estampa, Asia Art Contemporary, Art Basel Miami and Contex, and his artwork has been part of architectural and decorative projects around the world.

Although his professional trajectory is wide and diverse, he’s expressed his excitement about being well-known here, in Valladolid. He’s a man with a true passion for his land.

And was is it that makes his collections unique? It’s the purpose behind his work. He tries to give meaning to our existence. In a universal context, he affirms identity, acceptance and aspiration. Are we what we want to be? Do we believe we’re someone others don’t see? Who are we truly?

“Segundas Pieles” (Second Skin) collection

The “Segundas Pieles” collection calls for reflection to understand the intimate reality of humans through photographs of people with animal faces that show a series of personalities that we adopt depending on the circumstances.

The images that make up this series try to isolate the character, ignore its context and its references, and are based solely on the individual being. They suggest options, possibilities and choices.

“Raíz” (Root) collection

“Raíz” also looks into identity, existence and choice of an individual. The pictures show bodies with heads made of plants and flowers in different seasons and stages of flowering. The body represents the stem and the head the flower. But the root, what links us to the earth, the place from which we depart and to which we arrive, the beginning and the end of life, is never shown. The root is the base of our existence, which inevitably conditions our path’s direction. The term root indicates support, union, base, the sustenance of our inner self.

In this collection, the context of the human being, whether social, cultural, economic or family, is added to this search of identity. This concept is perhaps one of the many matters that determine one’s choice and that search for one’s true self in a more indirect way.

The photographs reveal a specific image through plants and flowers that can show the moment in which we find ourselves, which may be temporary or definitive, or perhaps represent only what we wish to show although it doesn’t line up with our identity.

“Ceci n’est pas” collection

“Ceci n’est pas” or “This is not” is an open collection that can present as many images as choices a human has, leading the author to the deconstruction of the human being, which begins by representing reality and evolves towards surrealism. Unlike the other collections, the photographs present a physical separation between the body and the head, the latter now represented by lifeless objects.

“Ceci n’est pas” aims to delve once more into the concept of an individual’s identity and choice. This way, the objects recreate what conditions us, determines us, what we yearn for or what we might have forgotten.

This series of pictorial photographs aims to find answers and suggest questions regarding identity and acceptance. The approach comes from the conception of our self as the result of our circumstances, successes, mistakes and decisions.

“This is not…” invites us to reflect on “what is”, “what we believe to be”, “what others believe we are”, “what we want to be” and “what we really are.”

“You are” collection

“You are”… You are the one who resists storms. You are the wind blowing against one’s face. You are the one who holds the light up high. You are…

The author seeks to highlight women’s nature and strength, tenacity, roots and many other qualities or abilities that characterize them through visual metaphors.

The woman’s face is hidden in each photograph in order to highlight what is happening in each one. This way, they reach out in a more global manner to all women and leave out individuality, which was something very present in previous collections. In this case, the author wants to reference a group with characteristic features that define and determine it.

The photographs show that what may seem motionless is actually constant over time. “Carrying the house”, “holding the world” or “being the tree’s branches” are intrinsic qualities of a woman, innate and continuous actions over time.

“You are” aims to highlight the fundamental values of women based on basic themes like “you write your own story”, or even more complex, abstract and ambitious ones such as “you are the light.”

You are… You are art’s inspiration. You are balance. You are who protects me from the rain. You are…

“Suppen” collection

“Suppen” has been presented this year at New York’s Affordable Art fair, and then in Hong Kong and Melbourne too. It’s currently exhibited in Berlin, and next year it will be moving to Kraków and Moscow.

The Suppen (Soup) collection explores imaginary worlds that appear before our eyes, focused on a daily action in which abstraction arises several times, which evades us and takes us to other places.

Confetti soup, soap soup, sea soup, alphabet soup, wool, world, island, cloud and rain soup are some of the titles we can find in Suppen.

Just like in previous collections, this one is conceived as a series that extends without limits, just like imagination and creativity, recreating everything that we store in our memory, that we desire, that we feel or imagine. A world that’s in front of us and which we observe from nostalgic or dreamful point of view.

The photographs from this series are configured under certain compositional premises that are present in each one. They’re made up of a soup’s essential elements, such as a plate and a spoon. The objective of these simple elements is to create a subtle environment that highlights the story that’s unfolding in the soup. So, dear reader, what soup would you try?

ᴛʜᴇ ʙɪᴏᴍʙᴏ • ᴀʀᴛ ʙʟᴏɢ

Translated by Andrea Barrocal Velasco (

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