Alain was organising an Art exhibition for the institution as well as assisting his wife to integrate her art into the common framework of the exhibition. His job was to create the story telling to make individual works created by individual artists and, therefore, align their works.
I had a couple of glasses of wine - maybe 3 - and discussed with him his career trajectory, which goes from being a communication manager to a teacher, a wide range of creative jobs in his resume.
Alain has a fine sense of humour, a drop of irony and a bit of sarcasm and he used all of the previous to explain how difficult it is for artists in Spain to make it through all by themselves due the current state of the economy and how galleries and the likes will screw you over until there is no profit left.
I mentioned to him that even though I wouldn't consider myself an artist I have, nonetheless, been working in photography for a number of years. He told me he has a non-for profit gallery down in the south of Spain and that I should visit, I agreed to that, he offered his help to take a look at what I call my portfolio, I was truly grateful.
A couple of days ago and while I was on vacation in Portugal I contacted Alain again, sent him my so called "portfolio" and asked him for his opinion about my work.
Let me tell you straight, when I opened the message I didn't like what I read but I had to suck it up and take it all in. What Alain said made sense and resonated on me.
"I believe your portfolio is extremely chaotic, like if you were a crazy Instagrammer. You need to evaluate an answer for these questions. What is it that you take photographs for? Why do you take pictures?"
Critiques are never easy and in this occasion it was direct feedback that I asked for, including two questions that I can't fully answer as yet.
Time to reflect.