I love these photographs of Benidorm from Gunnar Knechtel. They full of the horror of package holidays, the types of trips that make me shiver; the ghastly apartments on the beachfront, fried English breakfasts, tawdry sexy toys, beaches filled with sun burnt people and lads drinking beer. All of it horrid.
I remember getting a bus with my wife, from Barcelona to Girona to catch a flight, and stopping at one of these places on the Costa Brava. We thought we’d stay the night. Instead we had a quick look around and immediately headed back to the bus station. If Dante had given me a circle of suffering in Hell this would be it.
Knechtel’s slick, super saturated advertising aesthetic only propagates this horrendous vision, his wonderful portraits giving us a cartoonish insight into life on a Spanish holiday. And despite loving the pictures I’m happy to sit back and smirk. Up close and personal with the characters in this sun drenched nightmare would be a living death.
These pictures are only a small part of Knechtel’s portfolio. Many of them are worth having a look at as he loves nothing more than taking photographs of people living in extreme environments. Benidorm being one.