We have been following Coke for a long time. His photos, approach to life, and of course his commitment with the planet and the environment are things that really inspire us. With his signature moustache and his partner in crime Nuria (and their newborn child Olivia), travelling the world looking for stories to tell and photos to take along the way never seemed so exciting.
What is your first memory with a camera in hand?
While staying at my grandmother's summer home with my father, she let me shoot some reels with her Canon AT1. I must have been about 11 years old and, during that summer, after taking some pretty random black and white photos, she taught me how to develop and print. From then on I never stopped taking photos.
What do you think is the greatest power of photography?
Creating memories that can not be erased and establishing a timeline that is similar to a diary, in the sense that whenever you look at it you can transport yourself to that moment.
What is a day in the life of Coke Bartrina like?
It really depends on the day. I don't shoot every day, so I spend a lot of time working on my computer (preparing projects, delivering photos, budgets, research, etc). During those types of days I basically go to the studio and work from there. The days that I work on my photography vary a lot depending on the project, but it usually means waking up very early and moving to a location, taking advantage of the sunrise and the best light of the day and taking photos until it gets dark. Normally, on those particular days I sleep like a log because the creative process is very rewarding but very strenuous at the same time
How do you face this new stage of your life? Will Coke Bartrina be the perfect father?
Buah! I don’t believe in the existence of a perfect father, I will try to do the best I can and I hope I can help this little person who comes to the world have a good foundation to have good judgment when he gets older. Both my partner and I are very excited about this new stage, it is definitely the most exciting project we are facing.
In your exhibition EQUILIBRIUM you portray the consequences of climate change in the Ebro Delta area. What three measures would you impose to stop climate change?
I have been interested in the environment for years because I love nature and it really hurts to see how the influence and decisions of humanity are spoiling it. It is very difficult to propose concrete measures but it is clear that we are overexploiting the resources of our planet, which are finite, so I see a complicated future if we do not lower the rate of consumption. We should be able to live with fewer things but of better quality and not satisfy our desires with anything regardless of durability, where it comes from or what resources are necessary to manufacture it.
What is sustainability for you? Do you think it is the key factor for the new generations?
I basically believe that there is no future for humanity without sustainability. I see more and more young people who are aware and making eye-catching projects regarding this issue. I think we need children to be educated in a context that gives them the appropriate tools to change society. We must work towards being less selfish and make sacrifices for the environment. In my opinion, the scourge of our society is the desire for convenience and immediacy.
Which photographers and artists have inspired you the most?
Bruce Weber, Irving Penn, Peter Lindberg, Nan Goldin, Ryan McGinley as photographers. Charles and Ray Eames, Noguchi, Enzo Mari, Prouvé as designers. Yayoi Kusama, Miró, Walter de Maria, Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Edward Hopper and many more. I am quite a regular at museums, whenever I travel to other cities I like to get away and plan some visits if I have time.
A secret destination to spend the summer? And for winter? We will keep it a secret…
Milos in Greece at the end of summer and Patagonia in winter since, as it is in the southern hemisphere, it is also summer.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cuban style rice.
Who is the coolest person who follows you on Instagram?
My partner, Nuria Val (@frecklesnur)
One thing that gives you energy and another that takes it away?
Nature gives me a lot of energy and the stressful part of living in the city takes it away from me.
What historical figure would you like to have dinner with?
Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente.
Can you touch your elbow with your tongue?
I can’t reach it, I feel disappointed.
A song that you are obsessed with right now.
I'm listening to ‘Believe What I Say’ by Kanye West a lot.
A book that can be read over and over again.
‘My Family and Other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Taking a few days of total disconnection in our small farm of olive trees near the Ebro Delta.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I don't know if someone gave it to me or if I gave it to myself, but I think it’s important to follow your intuition.
Hope you enjoyed, you can follow his adventures at @cokebartrina!