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Our world is increasingly filled with imagery from the internet, advertising, movies, social media, selfies, smartphone cameras, surveillance, propaganda, media, art, books, magazines … It causes us to question our own sense of what is real, what is imagined, what is fiction, what is a lie … So, what better medium than photography
(or cinema or the internet itself) to explore this archaeology of images? – Max de Esteban

Max de Esteban (born in 1959) is a fine art photographer who lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. De Esteban’s overall photographic practice explores socio-political concepts within visual structures of serialization and repetition. His seductive, apocalyptic photo-combines in Heads Will Roll critique and reflect upon the state of our world and the role photography plays in how we receive, see, and process information in the digital age.

To construct his works in Heads Will Roll de Esteban mines a mass media that spews out an incessant stream of imagery of war, violence, and disasters transmitted 24/7 into our homes, offices, and public spaces. De Esteban merges and juxtaposes pictures, texts and found objects into dark-colored plates to produce photomontages that present a cacophony of information that is at once dense with information yet visually legible. These provocative, captivatingly beautiful visual constructions reveal a world where violence, imagined or real, is always looming, and the viewer is left almost totally out of balance in a state of anxiety and unease.

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L-R Defined by Catastrophe; The inadequacy of Any Sensible Standard / images courtesy of Klompching Gallery

Heads Will Roll is the fourth and final installment in de Esteban’s challenging and provocative Propositions series that represents a long-term rigorous investigation of today’s embracement of technologies and in particular the dawn of the bio-cybernetic era. Bio-cybernetics breaks with the last frontier of resistance of a technological world by incorporating the machine into the body and the mind and thus changing forever the relationship between nature and culture. Proposition is a visual exploration of its implications in art, knowledge transmission, technology and society.

Heads Will Roll opens at Klompching Gallery’s stunning new street level space located at 89 Water Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn’s vibrant art district, on September 12 and remains on view until October 30, 2015.


Accompanying the exhibition is an art monograph entitled Heads Will Roll recently published by Hatje Cantz. The book includes insightful essays by curator Carles Guerra, and author Bill Kouwenhoven.

In his essay entitled Photocapitalism is Among Us Carles Guerra writes: “The visual repertoire in this volume is reminiscent of the accumulation of genres that define photography in the twenty-first century. Found within these pages is the information, surveillance, pornography, and the mobilization effect – the power photography has to prompt a particular perception of events in the public sphere … Together they embody a set of functions that are quite different from the celebratory and mnemonic character that is quite typical of the medium. What is at stake is the accountability of photography in regard to its history.”

Kouwenhoven writes in his text entitled “Interesting Times, Indeed!” that Heads Will Roll is “both a warning and a collection of forensic evidence of the mess we have gotten ourselves into through devices of our own invention. Seen through his eyes, these visual statements of our ‘interesting times,’ the result of the worship of technology running amok, should be a wake-up call for all of us to regain some awareness of the consequences of our actions before it is too late. We must take a good look at ourselves in the mirror of our own technologies and realize, as that alternative philosopher, the late Walt Kelly, wrote: ‘We have met the enemy, and he is us.’ Otherwise, heads may well roll.”

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L-R Absract Nature of the Real; Defined by the Accident / images courtesy of Klompching Gallery

Max de Esteban (b. 1959) is a Fulbright Alumni who studied Engineering and holds a Ph.D. from the Universitat Ramon Llull and a Masters degree from Stanford University. His work has been featured at the Deutsche Technik Museum in Berlin, Recontres Internationales at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and Darmstadter Tage der Fotografie, among others. He is the recipient of the National Award of Professional Photography in Spain and the Jury’s Special Award in Fotofestiwal, Poland. His monograph Heads will Roll was recently listed as a photo-book of the year by Lens Culture magazine. De Esteban’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions at art institutions worldwide, and is in the museum collections of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museu de Arte Modena do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; and Deutsche Technik Museum in Berlin, Germany. He is represented by Klompching Gallery in New York, Uno Art Space in Stuttgart, and Gallery NoW in Seoul. Max de Esteban lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. For more information, visit: http://maxdeesteban.com.

Klompching Gallery was established by Darren Ching and Debra Klomp Ching in 2007, and specializes in the sale and exhibition of contemporary fine art photography. The gallery represents an international roster of established artists, whose work can be found in several notable public and private collections. Located in Dumbo (Brooklyn, New York), the gallery showcases photography that demonstrates creative integrity and intent, originality, narrative and aesthetic challenges, and the highest level of craftsmanship. Klompching Gallery is a member of AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) since 2012, and exhibits each year at the New York Photography Show at the Park Avenue Armory. In addition to its exhibitions schedule, the gallery provides detailed, bespoke acquisition services to collectors of contemporary photographs. For more information, visit: http://www.klompching.com.

Bill Kouwenhoven is a photographic critic and curator. He is the author of several monographs and a major survey of contemporary Spanish photography, Nuevas Historias. From 1996 to 2001 he was editor of the San Francisco-based magazine Photo Metro. Most recently, he was international editor of HotShoe magazine.

Carles Guerra is a curator and associate professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He has held various other positions, including chief curator of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), director of La Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona, and director of the 2004 Primavera Fotogràfica. Since the late nineties he has paid particular attention to post-media documentary practices in the form of monographic exhibitions and special publications.

Book Details for Head Will Roll:
Hardcover / 8.25 x 10.5 inches / 176 pages / 78 color
List Price: $55.00 US

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