Tuesday's Visual Treat - Day 2/ Big Bang Art Peep Show

Nuestra Senora de las Iguanas, Juchitan, Oaxaca 1979
photo courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, NYC

Today is the day two of the BIG BANG ART/PEEP SHOW, and the featured artist is Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide. Mysterious, riveting, and sometimes surreal in her depiction of the magic and tragedy which is Mexico.  Seemingly outside of time the country stands poised--awaiting a promised change.  Although ancient and contemporary prophecy herald doom/destruction/decay, within the collective hearts of the motherland hope abounds.  Hopeful as well as stubborn, stoic, proud, passionate, purposeful, gentle, guarded, fertile, and on occasion quixotic:  all traits witnessed in my father, a son of Mexico and in his heart, born of the jaguar.  Ancient yet modern; reaching forward to a future with eyes looking to the past, and unable (or unwilling) to realize a peaceful/prosperous/egalitarian present.  Mexico is simultaneously a history unfolding, a country once {and again??} an empire, and a people allegedly favored by ancient gods.  Mexico is, I believe, more beautiful than 10,000 suns!!


The Edelman Gallery writes of Iturbide:

Working in her native country, Graciela Iturbide creates photographs which have become synonymous with Mexican culture in all its diversity.  In 1970, after the sudden death of her six-year old daughter, Iturbide reassessed her life's purpose, which eventually led her to an apprenticeship with Manuel Alvarez Bravo.  This bond with Mexico's greatest photographer led her to see her homeland as she never had before, photographing indigenous people in small villages across the land. Through Iturbide's images, we come to understand that the power of the Catholic church could not erase the greater power of pre-Hispanic cultures, which created a country flourishing with modern technologies {radio, television, advertisements} yet cognizant and proud of its traditional and religious customs.  Her photographs tell a visual story of a culture in constant transition through images of identity, sexuality, festivals, rituals, daily life, death and the role of women.  At times we see the clash between urban and rural life, indigenous and modern life as Iturbide effortlessly moves from community to community on her personal journey through her homeland.


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