Yurian Quintanas Nobel was born in Amsterdam in 1983. After graduating as a senior technician in image and study, a specialization course in photojournalism at IDEP in Barcelona, he had the opportunity to assist National Geographic photographers such as Tino Soriano and Annie Griffiths Belt. He has since focused on personal projects such as Happy Nothing, documenting the California desert and its inhabitants. Yurian currently lives in Catalonia, Spain, working on additional photographic projects which document people and their environment.
The desert represents decay and death. There is scarcity of water and shade, extreme temperatures and a lack of resources for humans to survive. But at the same time there is a long tradition of the desert as a place of healing, both physically and spiritually.
With the Californian desert as background, “Happy Nothing” delves into the lives of its inhabitants and its secrets. Here is where ex-convicts, war veterans, retirees and people that, for some reason, have decided to stay outside of the society live. In these towns there is no running water, the houses are in ruins, the streets unpaved, without street lighting, there are no supermarkets or entertainment infrastructures. But despite living in these conditions, they call it the Paradise.
Yurian has won several awards and fellowships including the 1st prize of the Vanguardia Magazine, (2007), “XIII International Meetings Gijon Photojournalism” scholarship (2009), an honorable mention in the “Travel Photographer of the Year” (2011), a selection for Photoespaña Discoveries (2011) and was a finalist of the Fotopres Grant (2013). He has been published in Burn Magazine, Foto a Foto, Descobrir Catalunya, F-Stop Magazine, Piel de Foto, Disparo and Positive Magazine.
To view more of Yurian’s work please visit his website.