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Work / Photography

Photographer Marco Argüello questions the “visual vomit” of influencer culture in his series Chroma

“The series was inspired by the constant visual vomit around me,” explains photographer Marco Argüello. His series Chroma is a garish, saturated document of his year-long travels and a comment on the influencer culture perpetuated within the square confines of Instagram. Marco’s images capture the decor of hotel rooms, the mundane shopping trips, the faces and places that never end up behind a filter and showered in thousands of ‘likes’. “Those who have ever been on holiday in a popular place know that while Angkor Wat is a stunning place, it is also packed with tourists,” he says. “This sometimes took away from the magic that you always envisioned when daydreaming about visiting. Aside from the obligatory shots I started focusing on the subject matter around me like the people, the clothing, textures, signs, whatever. Things that were lurid and otherwise overlooked. “

“One day in a coffee shop in Miami, we decided that life is short and the world is huge, so we took the plunge,” says Marco of his trip. “First, we travelled by car through the US for a month. We hadn’t seen a lot of our own backyard and decided to drive from Miami to California and back to Miami. We then flew to Spain to begin our international leg. Spain was followed by Morocco, Vienna, Budapest, Slovakia, Greece, India, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hawaii, Thailand, Myanmar, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and finished in Paraguay, where my family is from originally. We spent no less than two weeks in each place.”

Shot with a Contax T2 on 35mm film, Marco developed the images on the road. “This was nice because I could let the series breath and have time to edit slowly,” says Marco. The physical development of photos was a conscious rejection of the technology of Instagram and the hyper-stylised travel images of “influencers”. “Influencer culture is getting a little out of hand. I also have a problem with the term “influencer”. Isn’t an influencer just a photographer? Meaning they have a camera and shoot insta-models or those terrible “follow me to” photos? What I’m saying is that there is good content and bad content made by photographers all over Instagram.”

At first glance, the brash colours of Marco’s photography belies the true sentiment behind them. “As a long-term tourist I think the images reveal a jadedness with tourism sometimes,” he ponders. “Instead of focusing on reading a placard about the historical significance of something I am looking for something else to photograph.”

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma

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Marco Argüello: Chroma