Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Graciela Iturbide

The Art21 series on PBS last night featured three artists talking about art as investigation.  The second segment was about the Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide, initially an assistant and apprentice to Manuel Alvarez Bravo.  She is known mostly as an interpreter of indigenous Mexican culture, though she has traveled and photographed widely in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Here is a self-portrait made near the beginning of Iturbide's career as a photographer:

Forty years later Iturbide's enduring charm and intelligence has made her a favorite subject of videographers looking to explore the subject of photographic practice and inspiration.  In her Art21 appearance she was able to share many insights into her personal approach to photography without ever sinking into the artspeak which seems to plague artists in other media.

Another good video covering some of the same ground was made by Alejandro Gómez de Tuddo.  I liked the fact that Iturbide was allowed to speak for herself while the English interpretation was left to the sub-titles.

In both of the videos Iturbide is seen shooting black and white film in a big medium-format rangefinder.

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