Self-portrait Flora Garduño
In this moment of digital grabs and prolific phone generated images surrounding our modern lives; it is refreshing to rediscover an artist whose ‘lens vision’ not only inspires, but actually takes your breath away.
Flor de María Garduño Yanez, is an extraordinary artist. She was born in Mexico city in 1957 and raised on a farm in the rural surrounds. Her training began in 1976 (UNAM) the Antigua Academia de San Carlos under the tutelage of photographer Kati Horna (1912-2000). In 1979, she left her formal studies to work with Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo. She was employed to print his portfolios of photographic works. This experience inspired her to dedicate herself to become a professional photographer herself. She perfected her photographic skills through focusing on several technical challenges; exploring printing processes such as palladium platinum and later by printing her photographic portfolios in silver on gelatin.
“In the beginning were the earth and the clouds and the wind, man was not. Flor Garduño is aware of this and watches the world as if its landscape were posing just for her.” Kati Horna
From an early age, Flor was an individual in all that she undertook. She intuitively developed her own vision and artistic style. Her early works evoked deep emotions and incorporated powerful natural elements. She turned her focus towards the Mexican countryside, the female nude as a form, and portraiture that had its roots in the essence of Mexico’s magical realism. Her still life studies were highly sought after as they often incorporated deeper symbols from a past Mexican spirit. Flor Garduno’s great strength is her ability to compose works in a way that illuminates a present moment, yet links the present to the collective indigenous past.
Left: Abrazo de Luz, Mexico, 2000. Right: Canasta De Luz, Guatemala, 1989
In 1981, Flor started work at the department of Public Education under the supervision of photographer Mariana Yampolsky. During this time she travelled extensively throughout Mexico’s countryside capturing the diverse indigenous communities and their ways of life. Her photographs were intended for primary school textbooks. Deeply touched by the hardships faced by the indigenous people she met during her extensive travels; this experience consolidated her art practice and vision, which consistently sought to reference traditional Mexican iconography and folklore.
Garduño has published several books, the first of which, Magia del Juego Eterno, was published in 1986. Her work has been exhibited Internationally and is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, the Bibliothèque National de France, Paris and the Museum Ludwig, in Cologne.
Further books which illustrate Garduno’s her Art Practice: Witnesses of Time, 1992; Trilogy, 2010.
Here works are available through several reputable Photographic Galleries, and through her official website. www.florgarduno.com
Send me an email if you are interested in discovering more about her beautiful work.