A photo, an Edge, a Universe, a Soul.


   © Photos: Humberto Ybarra, Text: Álvaro Sánchez León

There are things that are carried inside. They are not learned in the academies, nor in the tutorials, they arise from talent and are perfected with the skill of perseverance. Within Humberto Ybarra a photographer was forged without school but nurtured by his interest in art at home,from contemplating beauty in museums and valuing the delicacy of artistic language. The seed was raised by a landscape portraitist that discovered the gift when he clicked. A picture. A corner. A universe. A soul. Unquestionably unique.

If Antonio Machado were an Andalusian photographer, it would be like Ybarra's work. Real. Poetic. Biographer of topographies that will never be canonical scenarios, but have already become major works of art, because the eye of an audacious person has successfully transvestite the grass into a jewel, the dry wheat into gold, the decadent block into a recreational space for the good taste, the gray cycle in hope, in depression, the dry tree in leafy metaphor and photographs of windows from the quiet, alone, minimalist and true Spain from which the crickets, the tractor, the rude voices, the free and long flights that are not to be found in the city. Not on Instagram.

He delivers it without discursive intention pushed by the aesthetic tyranny that beats inside him. I know. And, even so, Humberto Ybarra is the photogenic version of all the paths of Machado, with whom he shares a Sevillian birthplace. It is the two-dimensional stamp of "the path is made by walking" and of "Yo voy soñando cominos" (I am dreaming of cumins). And the illustration with light of all the solitudes of the poet. It is a late photographic vocation that stands out in the 90s and becomes a dominant passion in 2009. He has done portraits, still lifes and conceptual photography, but his landscape vein that germinated in 2018 has ended up giving shade to all this orchard. It is his own harvest with denomination of origin: the daily farmland flavored with thistle turned into a powerful magnet for thirsty views of discreet extraordinary beauty. Loneliness. Peace. Ascetic and serene mystic. Heat. Mystery. Silence. Very distant and secondary voices. Anonymous locations. Implements that whirr in the slightest bit of wind. Animals that roam marginal and do not even enter the scene, but they are there. It is intuited. In the foreground, the charm of the routine where selfies have not reached, because landing up to this frame requires getting out of comfort, getting out of the car, stepping on the ground, crossing the fences, rolling up the lens and getting into the sand of the dry plants sweating the daring.

All the art and all the paintings drunk in its history-child, adolescent, youth and maturity have given birth to the photographer with fine skin in the middle of the esparto grass, the smell of chamomile in the middle of a sea of sandy dryness, of cante jondo among the sighs of the humble countryside that our generation yearns for. Extraordinary ordinary life. Eloquent silence. Spiral of stillness. Roots of our parents. Simple and divine paths that scratch the earth. The pleasure of a piece of paradise without the filters of a costume is always best captured by a good person.