Xan Padron (Spanish, b.1969)
Xan Padron was born in Spain, and now lives and works in New York. His interest in photography began at age 13 when he was gifted a darkroom set from his grandfather who was a photojournalist. Xan continues to do editorial photography, but is best known for his “Time Lapse” series which burgeoned from an earlier career as a traveling professional musician. Xan’s idea was simple in its conception, but the “Time Lapse” series is increasingly complex as each site specific shoot reveals deeper meaning about the inhabitants of the urban landscape. In these works Xan chooses a site, a colorful wall, or interesting backdrop, over which people pass by. Both Xan and the subjects remain anonymous, yet each frame of the composite presents the identity of a city’s people. The images read like sheet music, with each note played as an individual in a moment in time that combine to create the tone for a location and documents daily activity in a rhythmic, ordered sequence.
Although there are a lot of formal similarities to the work of Eadweard Muybridge, who was working towards a moving picture, Xan’s idea sprung from a desire to capture the soul of a city as a candid street photographer heavily influenced by artists like Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Cristina García Rodero, Saul Leiter, and Helen Levitt. The resulting portfolio from Xan is colorful, clever, and thought provoking as he documents sequential moments of people’s lives as chords in the song of city life.
“Time Lapse” has been widely exhibited and publicized in locations like the United Nations Headquarters in New York, The Pfizer Building in New York, and in the art fairs Photo LA, Art on Paper NYC and The Other Art Fair, presented by Saatchi Art in London, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. His work has been published on the cover of the eleventh edition of the anthology Race, Class and Gender in the United States (MacMillan, 2020), in the sociology volume Personal Networks (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and in international publications such as the New England Review (NER), Die Zeit Magazine (Germany), PRISM International (Canada), and Photo World Magazine (China). His Time-Lapses were even on the cover of the autumn catalog of Saatchi Art (2019) and were selected for the program Art on Link (#ArtOnLink) of the City of New York (LinkNYC, CityBridge 2020) where Xan Padrуn’s sociological portraits were shared on more than 1,700 digital kiosks citywide.