Was it the veins in her arms that attracted me to her? Or perhaps it was her long wet fingers, shiny from the afternoon sun, as she washed her clothes that caught my eye? Or was it the wrinkles in her face and the look of determination in the shape of her mouth? Perhaps it was just the scene itself of her hand washing her clothes in the red concrete tubs of the public laundry area where spring-fed water troughs lure many on the weekends…ahhhhhhh…the power of photography and the ability to capture those moments that catch our eye…
While in San Miguel de Allende for the past two weeks and roaming the many art galleries, the work of Deborah Turbeville at Casa Diana bed and breakast and gallery also caught my eye. But first, before telling you about Turbeville, let me share a bit about Casa Diana. This place was built by the artist Pedro Friedeberg, whose work can be found throughout the house. There’s a room with a lion face mantle around the fireplace and one with a three horse stucco as seen below…which is understandable why Casa Diana has been featured in the magazine, Architectural Digest. Friedeberg’s hand chairs are very well known in the art and decorating world as well. Imagine spending the weekend here…
But back to Deborah Turbeville…familiar with her work? The artist and lovely owner of Casa Diana, Carmen Gutierrez, pulled out many of Turbeville’s books from her library to show me her work. (Guess who has now updated her wish list on Amazon?)
Turbeville is an internationally acclaimed photographer who is credited with changing the face of fashion photography. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, St. Petersburg and New York and has worked for some of the big name magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle prior to becoming a photographer. “Taking photographs for more than 30 years, her aesthetic has never changed. She foregoes clarity and colour to maintain a stony palette which is only occasionally alleviated by shots of gold. Light is used to further the effect: bleaching out an alabaster face, illuminating a hollowed cheekbone, throwing shadows into deeper relief. Her methods of post-production – negatives are scratched, taped and smeared – serve to continue the pictures’ disconnection from reality. Order is there, but it is unnatural – there is always an oddness, a discordant note that necessitates a second look.” (Tish Wrigley) The soft-focus, high grain and avaunt-garde style certainly makes her one of my favorite photographers.
And speaking of favorite photographers…have you heard about the upcoming documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, which tells the incredible story behind the mystery of her hidden life? Oh I can’t wait! The official trailer can be seen here.
Do you have a favorite photographer? Please share!
Cross-posted today over at Vision and Verb where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.