Self-Portrait in Kitchen with Dog (above) A 'warts and all' picture depicting grime, daily life, bad habits, high blood pressure, love of cooking, 'Mexicaness', 'Britishness', children and the somewhat superstitious nature of believing that special things occur at eleven minutes past the hour. The image is one metre tall by 3.65 metres wide.
Christopher Cristóbal Newberry
Juan Cristóbal Newberry Retana (known as Christopher Cristóbal Newberry) was born in Mexico City on 15.11.51 – a palindrome. Speculatively, this may be one reason he has been fascinated by symmetry, repetitiveness, cycles, change, progression.
He attended 11 different schools in Mexico and the USA before enrolling at the Universidad Ibero Americana where he read Communication Science.
In early 1976 he came to Europe on a one-way air ticket. He worked and hitchhiked for several months. Down to only £5 in his pocket, he hitched a ride from Paris to London. He has lived in Britain ever since.
He has directed documentaries and educational television programmes for Mexican and British television, including BBC Education. He is listed in IMDb (Internet Movie Database). He has worked as a professional photographer since 1985, at first specialising in portraying life in the inner cities or the residents of psychiatric hospitals for 3rd sector and charitable communications. His pictures have appeared in The Guardian and other national and local newspapers. As the author of two books on architecture and local history, he became aware of the possibilities of transforming the images of buildings to appear as they might have to the architects in their original plans. At about the same time, he moved to ‘landscape with a message’ for his exhibition ‘Vistas in a Crowded Land’.
Since 2005 and the advent of digital photography, he has shifted his artistic interests from the factual to the verisimilar. He has come to regard himself, not as a photographer, but as an image creator – what he calls image inception – taking images from reality with the camera and transforming them into new, verisimilar images (that look real at first sight, but are not). He is in particular, interested in the ‘post-truth’ world, where many messages are not meant to inform, but rather to confuse and obfuscate: He invites the viewer to become aware that his images are impossible – however much they resemble reality (see his essay, Striving for Imperfection).
His work has been exhibited in Mexico City, London and Winchester. Most recently he has exhibited at Dean Clough Galleries in Halifax (which had to close for more than a year due to Covid); the Creative Innovation Centre in Taunton, Hampshire Open Studios, Creates Gallery and at the National Art Museum in Constanta, Romania last September (2019).
He has a wonderful partner and two pretty fantastic sons (now young men).
Christopher Cristóbal Newberry in 2006 and 1971.