with Ace & Tate by Thea Gausen

Exploring the Balance of Madrid through a Local Lens

We linked up with Ace & Tate in the build up to their launch in Spain, to explore the creative spirit of the country’s heart, Madrid - seen through the eyes of two locals, Curro Verdugo and Cristina Fernandez.

Expansive and intimate, traditional and modern: Madrid is a multifaceted city whose many sides are fostering an up and coming creative movement within the country. Shot by emerging photographer Javier Ruiz the series documents two community members embedded in the local scene, capturing the spots that help them achieve balance in the dynamic city.

"There is a palpable energy around every corner of the city and I think you can feel it. There are creative people coming all the time and the mix of cultures is giving place to something new." - Cristina

Cristina Fernandez

Cristina Fernandez is the cofounder of SPECIAL THANKS STUDIOS, a multidisciplinary creative studio who's content creation is always set to the backdrop of the city and it's surroundings. To her 'the best of Madrid are the possibilities it offers at a cultural, creative and social level. Being able to interact with people with your same creative interests brings you many opportunities.'

'Madrid is a balanced city for me because you have all the good things you have in a big city but it feels more like a town, everything is very easy, people is very friendly here and there is always something going on.'

Cris finds balance in her 'oasis in the city', the Madrid Rio. It's a true local park, and one of the best places in the city to check out some under-the-radar cultural events. Born from a renovation project of one of the city's industrial areas, it embodies the innovative nature of the city. Her second being Cafe Federal, a lowkey, design focussed cafe serving up some of the best brunch in Madrid. It's large windows double up as makeshift tables, allowing the cafe to pour out into it's surrounding neighbourhood of Conde Duque.

Curro Verdugo

Curro is an up and coming creative in the emerging Madrid scene. As a digital retoucher he has worked with international and local brands from Gucci to Fucking young. His an active part of the youth movement that are redefining the creative scene and cultural landscape, he insists, 'Age doesn’t matter when there is talent'.

'Madrid is fun, crazy and free. It has the best things of big city mixed with the best of a village'

Curro finds balance in Cafe Commercial, a cultural institution in the city, whose menu and interiors evolve and modernised with its surroundings. 'One of Madrid’s most emblematic and traditional cafés. Famous for it’s churros con chocolate'. The second spot being Retiro Lake. Located at the heart of the park, it epitomises the traditional side of Madrid. It's a place for locals to relax, rent a boat and take a break from the busy city.

Creative Director - Thea Gausen

Producer - Sam Blenkinsopp

Photographer - Javier Ruiz

1st Photography Assistant - Alex Cascallana

2nd Photography Assistant - Borja Gomez

Local Fixer - Jose Gordino

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