© Graciela Iturbide, Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas, Juchitán, Oaxaca, México (Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico), 1979
Graciela Iturbide, who was born in Mexico City in 1942, is probably the most recognized alive Mexican photographer. Iturbide’s work has been exhibited globally and it is included in many major museum collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Getty Museum, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and others.
Despite Iturbide is 75 years old, she desists to scale down working. In a recent collaboration with the Getty Museum, she just published a graphic autobiography titled “Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide”, illustrated by Zeke Peña and texts written by Isabel Quintero. Iturbide’s oeuvre encompasses several published books: Juchitan de las mujeres, Eyes to Fly With, and many other collaborations with other photographers and writers.
Our Lady of the Iguanas is arguably the most iconic photograph of Iturbide, probably the best way to describe this photograph is citing the Getty Museum: “Between 1979 and 1988, Iturbide (b. 1942) made a series of visits to Juchitán, Mexico, where—in her words—she photographed the way of life there “in complicity with the people.” Located in the state of Oaxaca, Juchitán is an ancient, communal, matriarchal society. It is also an open, fiercely independent, fiesta-loving city. Since the early twentieth century, the women of Juchitán—their dress and manner—have been national symbols, and Iturbide’s photographs capture them in public and in private as they conduct their lives in this ancient city in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.”
Iturbide’s life has been devotedly dedicated to photography, particularly focused on the role of women on frequently subverted indigenous groups in Mexico, her work about the Zapotec Indians of Juchitán, Oaxaca in Mexico is paramount to understand Mexico’s culture collectively, as the mosaic containing indigenous folklore and assimilated Catholic religious practices, all of that combined in the context of a “modern Mexico”.
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