Graciela Iturbide was the photographer who captured Mexico in its rawest. From portraits to daily life, the on-going display titled Graciela Iturbide's Mexico at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston aims to make the audience be even more familiar with the country, people, and culture.
It was during the loss of her six-year-old daughter Claudia when Iturbide turned to the camera arts and entered Centro de Estudios inematográficos at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, a film school. Though initially aiming to be a filmmaker, Iturbide grew to be more inclined to photography and drew inspiration from the work of Mexican modernist master and her mentor Manuel Alvarez Bravo. She was the one to capture the visual identity of Mexico, by capturing the complications of urban and rural life, the prevailing indigenous cultures and Mexico's Spanish ties
Today, she is one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers that match native Mexico's strong and distinct culture, mixing art and documentary, the subjective and objective points of view.
Graciela Iturbide's Mexico is the first major display and presentation for the artist in the East Coast, with over 140 photographs of her coverage of Mexico since the 1970s. The curator from Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Kristen Gresh said:
“I am thrilled to present Graciela’s groundbreaking images to our global audiences, and it has been a pleasure and honor to work closely with her in preparation for this exhibition. Her work has successfully and beautifully brought to the forefront the many untold stories of Mexican culture and history—from the eyes of an insider.”
The exhibition is divided into nine chapters, making the whole show a visual story on its own, through the eyes and lens of Iturbide. Included in the show is the famous Our Lady of the Iguanas / Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas, the iconic portrait of Zobeida Diaz as she wears a wreath of iguanas, her photographs of muxe, the Zapotec third gender, alongside the women of Juchitán. Images of the goat-slaughtering ritual of the people in La Mixteca from the Oaxacan region are also part of the story. The latter three sections would focus on recurring imagery found in Iturbide's body of work: fiestas, death, and birds.
The visual narrative concludes to Iturbide's most recent series, El baño de Frida (Frida’s Bathroom), in which she photographs the personal belongings of the artist Frida Kahlo. The photographer focuses on the objects that are more related to the artist's pain.
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts Boston to learn more about Graciela Iturbide's body of work and her views on Mexico through photography. The exhibition will be open until 12 May.