Endowed with an impulsive and untamable personality, shaped by the harshness of a troublesome past, photography came as a life-buoy to a fourteen year old girl subjected to many cruel knocks in life, assuming the beginning of a life, definitely and permanently related to Art. Since then creativity became the utmost important factor of Arlinda Mestres´s existence, along with the camera, her inseparable partner. Through it she has been able to channel her talent, her vocation and inspiration reproducing all her her immense life experiences.
In the course of a brilliant international career she has developed all fields of photography: publicity, photojournalism, portrait, fashion, ethnic reporting, fauna and wildlife…She knows well the secrets of the photographic language, always managing to print an element of her artistic personality influenced by her admiration for the cinema. Whilst contemplating her many photography books we are constantly faced with luxurious and glamorous backgrounds in which she moves around, they convey a somewhat «baroque» style where we can detect her fascination for the spectacular and sophisticated with a large array of cinematic scenery.
In contrast with those images, we also find the harshness of the African or Asiatic environments where other human beings look to survive, they are photographed with sentiment, realism and authenticity. The author appears as a polyhedral crystal, showing many different facets although beauty is always present, arising from an innate sense of aesthetics which she outlines with a special charm, in the simpler more frugal compositions the human body is a strong attraction for her, she captures, in refined instantaneous shots, the desirable beauty of the feminine curves, hair blowing in the wind, a mysterious and suggestive look. But even more fascinating, without doubt, are her masculine nudes, artistic choreographs captured from different and original angles showing unusual iconographic power, perfect dark skin anatomy, throbbing and concise. Besides the irrelevance of the model or the place they are works that reach the category of plethoric metaphors of life, energy and sensuality.
This is where we reach the heart of the matter: the sensuality, the sensuous, which probably constitutes the basis of Arlinda Mestres´s photography. But we are not referring to the easy to like, the lewd, the exciting, Arlinda expresses a different concept that impels and fills the best of her works, a sensuality that is «pure» that overcomes eroticism without the need to deny it, based on the authenticity of the wild and natural capable of seducing above the senses.
Although her creativity has much to do with a passionate temperament nd letting loose her expression instincts, her work is totally thought through, nothing left to chance. Before the first click she must conceive the purpose of the work, think of the message she wants to convey in that photo, decide the light, the composition, the framework and the mise-en-scène. The preceding preparation is very thorough and demands a long period of reflection. First of all it’s necessary to know how to look, observe, identify with the subject, feel the situation, soak up the atmosphere, submerge yourself whole heartily and psychologically in what you are going to photograph. this is the reason why she prefers to work alone, with her camera facing the motive, without assistants, occupy herself with all the details, only then will she achieve the desired final result.
This new book emphasises her artistic trajectory with a special meaning. It marks the beginning of a new era where Arlinda reinvents herself as an artist and as a woman. As a result of self-analyses combined with her constant inquietude in the search of new ways of expression she decided to allow a certain hybridisation of the photo by using other digital and pictorial techniques consciously approaching painting. So in this cycle she conceives each work as an elaborate and thought painting bringing out all her inner world, the way she feels life right now, emphasising the sensuality and consubstancial drama of the human being.
She has began a journey down a path of no return, the search of the essential and purity in an almost mystical manner. She needs to exclude all accessories in her new work so she can dwell in her true intimate world and succeed, experiment and transmit all these feelings and sensations without ever affecting, little as it maybe, rigour and professionalism. Arlinda reveals herself more intimate, subjective and profound in this passionate stage of her life and her art, touched by the magic and intensity of a new expression.
Raquel Medina de Vargas