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© Alexander Palacios, Soles of feet, Papua
Alexander Palacios. Born in Frankfurt, Alexander Palacios (41) has been living and working in Switzerland since 2008. His involvement with photography began unconventionally in 2002 as a party photographer and during his training as a sports and fitness businessman. This sparked his interest in professional photography.
Since 2006, Palacios has worked independently. He has assisted with various photographers and completed courses at the School of Design in Basel. However, he sees himself as more self-taught. Today, Palacios focuses on photographic art, which he finances with his commercial commissions. He travels around the world for this purpose and also works at für companies such as Novartis, Roche, UBS, Vogue and Burda. Among other things, Palacios tells the SBF editorial staff how he perceives photography, people and different worlds of life. "Seeds from Peru, planted in Germany, growing in Switzerland. I am a flower of art and the world is my garden." What is this phrase on your website about? My dad came from Peru. I myself immigrated from Germany to Switzerland when I was 23. I think of myself as a living creature of planet Earth and less of a country, a state or an ethnicity. I would like to discover the world and understand humans better. If I had one wish, I would like to have more senses of perception. What are your photographic focal points? I'm interested in people, because they hold secrets, fears and stories, and they can inspire. I try to portray people in a particular aesthetic. I'm not a fan of photographs that want to score with pain, or that portray someone in a bad light. What distinguishes your pictures and what distinguishes them from other art photographs? It is up to the viewer to decide, I cannot judge it. But I can say for myself that I am trying to put a certain aesthetic and harmony into a picture. Either it radiates harmony or it doesn't! Recently, you went to West Papua to a remote valley. Why? It was a photo assignment from a company that offers trips to these remote places. At the same time, I was interested in the local people. It's a different culture, a different way of life. Both are often incomprehensible from our European perspective. What was important was that I was always aware of cognitive consistency [internal urge to keep attitudes and behaviours in harmony and to avoid dissonance, ed.] You're a long-time member of the SBF -- where do you see the role of the SBF? I've been a member of the SBF for exactly 10 years -- a small anniversary, thank you very much for that. I think it's important to hold photography high. Nowadays, photography is often devalued because of the huge amount of images. It's become inflationary. We need professionals, visual experts, who develop concepts, strategies and solutions, and we need to communicate that to the people. That is what the SBF is for.
What will you do in 10 years? In my mindset, I don't exist there, I live in the here and now.