ArtCenter College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Myriam Negre

Photography '95

Myriam Negre was born in Oviedo, Asturias, Spain, in 1971. She was adopted at the age of one and has since lived in Barcelona.

At six, her life changed forever when her father gave her a Nikon and she learned to see the world through the lens of a camera. She was sent to a boarding school in England at 10, but contracted leukemia two years later and subsequently underwent five years of medical treatment in Barcelona and Houston.

Upon recovering, Negre studied graphic design at the Elisava School of Design in Barcelona, and attended the GrisArt School of Photography before coming to Art Center. After graduating with a Photography/Fine Art degree in 1995, Negre returned to Barcelona to freelance as a commercial photographer. She also created a production company that specializes in television commercials.

Having established herself commercially, Negre has recently rededicated herself to the pursuit of fine art photography. Traveling in different countries, she uses a variety of techniques and styles to communicate a warm and intimate vision of the people and places she encounters.

She continues to draw upon the technical, aesthetic and humanistic lessons she learned during her four years at Art Center, which she calls “the best years of my life.”

Art Center: When did you realize you were destined to have a creative life?
Myriam Negre:
When I was six years old, my father gave me his Nikon. He loved photography, and he had fun teaching me how to take pictures.

But the big moment came when I was 12 and developed leukemia. That made me realize I couldn't waste time in life, that I had to do what I felt from the heart. Because I loved photography since I was very young, I knew that's what I was going to do.

AC: Has your career turned out the way you expected once you entered that world?
It was what I expected in the sense that I became confident in my technical skills, and knew that I could do any job given to me. The only thing is that, in Barcelona as in Europe, Art Center wasn't as well known as it is in the United States. So the name of the College only carried weight once they saw that my work was technically really good.

But Art Center allowed me to pursue what I wanted, which was to make a living out of photography. That was important for me because I didn't want to do something else and shoot in my spare time. Now that I've had a [commercial] career in photography, it's my personal work that really keeps me going.

AC: As someone who has lived in two different cultures, how do you see the issue of a global marketplace and the need to speak to different people?
Most of my commercial work is for Spain. But with anything that I do, whether it's commercial or personal, I try to communicate with as many people as I can. Even if the work is going to be only for Spain, I really don't care because many tourists come and they see magazines and pictures. I think it's important to learn from other cultures.

Living in the United States was beautiful because it opens your mind and you see that not everyone lives the way you do. What you think is right, maybe it's not so right for them. Here in Spain, I have a lot of friends from South America, and that is very enriching. They have a different way of feeling and of seeing things, and it's beautiful to learn from that.

AC: Do you feel that your work has its own cultural perspective?
I hope it's universal and open to everyone. We are all people. We all have the same feelings. We all want love. We all want to feel good. We all want to see things that touch us in some way. That's universal. It doesn't really have to do with being from one place or another.

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