Visual journey through Lavapiés with photographer Roger Grasas

Exclusive exhibition at BYPILLOW Crosstown

In the intricate and colorful tapestry of Madrid, Lavapiés is a neighborhood of unparalleled cultural richness, a labyrinth where each corner reveals a new texture of urban life. It was here that the experienced photographer Roger Grasas entered with his camera and a mission: to capture the essence of this neighborhood and share it with the guests of the BYPILLOW Crosstown, through a photographic exhibition spread throughout every corner of the hotel.

Grasas’ career as a documentary photographer spans more than two decades, a journey that has led him to explore such remote and diverse landscapes of the globe as the oil monarchies of the Persian Gulf, Siberia, Latin America or to portray an unforgettable journey in 40 days. by train from Barcelona to New Delhi.

But what distinguishes his work is not the places he visits but his unique approach that he himself classifies as conceptual or interrogative documentaryism: “I try to offer images that function as questions, avoiding being dogmatic or presenting a single reading of reality. I prefer to leave the open message, allowing the viewer to position themselves,” reflects Grasas. This is how his camera, far from being a mere recording instrument, becomes a tool for dialogue, for the exploration of complex and often contradictory realities.

The project in Lavapiés was presented as a challenge and an opportunity for Grasas, who decided to immerse himself in the neighborhood, using the technique of “photographic drift”, a methodology that allowed him to be guided by chance and intuition without a predetermined destination and capture the authenticity and contrasts of Lavapiés, from its traditional roots to its most modern expressions: “It was fantastic that in this assignment they gave me total freedom because I was able to respect my own look without having to change my style.”

One of the great virtues of Grasas is its ability to find the unusual in the everyday. He doesn’t need to go to the ends of the world to take exotic or rare photographs: “The technique of photographic drift allows me to observe the ordinary from new angles, making it extraordinary,” he says.

In the photographic exhibition, which BYPILLOW Crosstown guests can enjoy, this approach reveals not only the uniqueness of Lavapiés as a microcosm of urban life, but also the photographer’s ability to dialogue with his environment, to reveal hidden stories.

For those seeking to capture the essence of their travels, Fats offers valuable advice: “focus on living in the moment and being aware of the act of seeing.” In a world saturated with images, Grasas invites us to experience directly, to leave the map and let ourselves be surprised by the unexpected and go search, beyond conventional guides, for a personal and deep connection with the places we visit. For him, Lavapiés represents the essence of the urban experience, a place where rich diversity and resistance to globalization offer an authentic vision of city life.

The location of the BYPILLOW Crosstown hotel, just a few minutes from the Plaza Mayor but away from the conventional tourist circuit, offers guests the opportunity to experience Madrid in a more genuine way. Lavapiés is a neighborhood that invites you to explore, to get lost in its streets full of history, urban art, international gastronomy and, above all, to interact with its inhabitants, who are the heart of the neighborhood.

The work of Roger Grasas is a powerful reminder that photography, at its best, is much more than a simple act of capturing or copying reality. It is a dialogue, an open question, an invitation to look at the world not only to see it, but to understand and question it. Through his images, Grasas invites us all to embark on our own journeys of discovery, armed with curiosity, openness and, above all, a willingness to be surprised by the beauty and complexity of the world around us.