Laia Abril: Lobismuller
Published by RM
Text by Laia Abril.
“The Werewolf of Allariz” was a woman who lived in 19th-century Spain. Known as Manuel Blanco Romasanta, but named Manuela at birth, the legendary “werewolf”—now believed to have lived with a rare syndrome of intersexuality—was Spain’s first documented serial killer.
Beautiful and eerie, Lobismuller reconstructs from a female perspective the story of the most enigmatic and bloodthirsty criminal in Spanish history. Earning the title of “the Tallow Man,” due to his habit of converting his victims’ fat into high-quality soap, Manuel admitted to nine murders at his 1853 trial. And yet he pleaded not guilty, for he was suffering, he claimed, from a curse that turned him into a wolf.
This eerily beautiful artist’s book by Spanish photographer Laia Abril, who studied at the International Center of Photography in New York and worked at COLORS magazine, is an unusual document of a haunting history in which the forces of criminality, sexuality and social marginalization coalesced into something deadly.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
1000 Words Magazine
Gender issues, psychology, landscape, mythology and folklore…the mesmerising story is wrapped upon layer of exquisite literary narrative. Between each image and each piece of text, a creepy affinity can be established, demonstrating Abril’s fluidity between medium and genre, which has come to characterise her practice.