UK based artist Manel Ortega has created 101 images exclusively for Balaclava.Q. In these works he looks at obscuring the face directly (with masks, blindfolds, etc) and indirectly (by cropping photographs so that the head it removed).  However the most compelling element of these works is that the overall “obscuring of the face” is the artist himself. Hidden within these images is a picture of the artist. Can you guess which one it is?



Born and raised in Granada, Spain, Manel Ortega moved to Barcelona, after a stint on a submarine for his military service, to establish himself as a photographer. He started out as a photographer’s assistant and as his career developed he worked, then managed, a prestigious photographic laboratory. He established his independent studio in Barcelona over 20 years ago and his work has been exhibited across Spain and in London, Italy, New York and Mexico. His images have been featured in numerous publications, including Vogue Spain, leading Spanish photography magazine, Arte Fotografico. More recently his work has been featured in Mascular, Cured Meat, KIRAMEKI, Cock au Soleil, Portrait Salon and Stark. In 2012 his portraiture was long listed for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and in October 2015 he was awarded Second Place in the Stark Magazine Photography Prize, creative and surreal category.

In portraiture, Manel reflects the unique essence and inner spirit of the subject. Through his work with the male form he balances the strength, beauty and fragility of the human body through the mastery of light.

Manel now lives in Brighton and has collaborated with the Terrence Higgins Trust for an Anti Discrimination Campaign and produced a calendar to raise funds for World AIDS Day in partnership with the NHS.  He has shot covers for numerous editions of local magazines including G Scene, 3SIXTY, Latest Homes and WHM. He has also exhibited in many local galleries and has been commissioned by businesses in Brighton, London and Madrid for his flair in fashion, hairstyle and portrait photography.



All images ©manelortega 2015. All rights reserved.

You can explore more of this artists works by visiting:

All works were kindly supplied by the artist.

Please ask permission before using them

Thank you.

One thought on “ARTIST: MANEL ORTEGA

  1. I was amazed with your wide collection of photographs! I enjoyed seeing the range of themes you explored – from the sensually mysterious to the in-your-face fetish to the classical male nude to the eroticism of male lovers to the edge of pornography – it was a roller coaster for the eyes. Well done! 👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

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