Cristina García Rodero (Puertollano, Ciudad Real, 1949) is one of the most internationally renowned Spanish Photographers. At the age of 17 she produced her first photographic report on the festival of Santo Voto celebrated in her hometown. In 1968 she began her Fine Arts studies at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid where she specialized in painting and attended classes imparted by the artist Antonio López. Subsequently, she studied photography at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios [Arts and Trades School]. Years later she would teach at both institutions.
In 1972 the Fundación Juan March granted her a scholarship to photograph popular celebrations throughout rural Spain, a project she developed over the course of two decades and which culminated in the illustrious publication España oculta [Hidden Spain] (1989). Rites, popular customs and romerías [pilgrimages] have always been Rodero’s focus, further exemplified in projects that she has undertaken throughout the globe, including in Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and the United States.
She has received numerous awards, such as the Eugene Smith Foundation Prize for Humanist Photography in 1989; the first World Press Photo award in 1993; the Premio Nacional de Fotografía [National Prize for Photography], awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1996; the Fundación La Caixa FotoPres award in 1997; the PHotoEspaña Bartolomé Ros Award in 2000; and the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2005. Cristina García Rodero has been a member of Magnum Photo since 2005, becoming the first female Spanish photographer to be inducted into the photojournalism agency.