One of the first galleries that caught my eye at Photoville was Latin American Fotografía y Ilustración Uno. From what I’ve seen of the festival so far it was the only gallery, I can recall, that actually had framed works; but more than that, they were very carefully curated. There were many favorites in this gallery, the first of which was “Homem Sexual” a photograph by Gabriel Rinaldi of Brazil. It portrays an older man’s face in the hands of what appears to be a young woman’s soft youthful hands. The juxtaposition of this piece – age vs. youth – is what gives it such immediate appeal.
On the Ilustración side of the gallery, “Eyes Many Eyes, Bombs Many Bombs, Lives Many Live, Deaths Many Deaths” by Carolina Amaya from Colombia was my absolute favorite. I’m a great admirer of the surrealist era and to see such great technique and composition in this decade as was found in the 1920s & ‘30s was a refreshing surprise. Amaya was truly channeling the great surrealist masters when composing this piece. A definite must-see at Photoville.
“Boys by the River” and “Ethnic Relations” by Kike Amal of Venezuela and Kenji Arimura of Brazil, respectively, offer images of South America that speak truth of the harsh yet brave way of life we in the States rarely get a chance to see. The austere, sober demeanor of Kike’s “Boys” and the air of camaraderie and support among the men of Arimua’s photo evoke stories one can only wish to hear.
Bolivian, Wara Vargas Lara’s photo, “TATA evo”, of a group of barely clothed, seated men surrounded by police in riot gear gives us a very up close and personal look at conflict and struggle between those in power and the vulnerable. An image of chaos and injustice that has quickly become a Photoville favorite of mine.
Another politically charged image from this gallery is Nik Neves’ (Brazil) “Uma Tarde em Chernobyl”. This beautifully illustrated image depicts the artist’s guided tour through the abandoned cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat 75 years after the infamous nuclear accident that made the area uninhabitable for nearly a century. A fascinating and haunting rendition of a city few have been witness to until very recently.
Have you been to Photoville? If so, please share your favorite pieces or galleries with us in the comments below.