Graciela Iturbide, Serafina, 1987 (129.1995)
Serafina is part of Graciela Iturbide’s series Juchitán. The picture is rooted in the artist’s strong interest in culture, ritual, and everyday life in indigenous Mexico, particularly its matriarchal social structures and deep mysticism. Using black and white photography, strong shadows, and a very frontal composition, the artist depicts a woman carrying an old frame that obscures her face; perhaps this is a portrait of an indigenous Oaxacan woman, under the beautifully mundane yet mysterious Mexican landscape. Iturbide extends the concept of documentary photography to explore the relationships between women and nature, the individual and culture, the real and the psychological.
Considered one of the most important and influential Latin American photographers of the past four decades, Iturbide was inspired by the photography of Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Manuel Álvarez Bravo, among others. She is a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography and her work has been exhibited internationally in places such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Cristina Velasquez, ICP-Bard 2017