Catany, Toni

Spanish (1942-)

A self-taught photographer, Toni Catany began his career in 1967, covering travel stories for major Spanish periodicals. This exposure to lush and sumptuous places inspired a certain lyrical quality to his work. Catany next turned his attention to nudes and natural still life photography, which challenged him to capture this same sensuality in living forms. As a result, his body of work is very tactile; a viewer can almost reach into the frame and feel the shapes, textures and forms. Catany developed a series of male nudes, where a close focus on a small portion of the body resulted in images that appear to be sculptural. He then captured images of marble sculpture, which look remarkably human. This blurring of the lines between living and non-living is a hallmark of Catany’s work.  

In addition to working with color Polaroids and digital imaging, Catany uses a Calotype process first developed by W.H. Fox Talbot – demonstrating a fluency in both old and new techniques. Calotype uses silver iodide and has an incredibly long exposure time, which requires patience on the part of the photographer and absolute stillness on the part of the subject. Catany’s latest project using this technique was Nature Mortes, a book of still lives of nature in various stages of decay and death.