Born: May 16, 1942 in Mexico City, Mexico
Education: Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (1969 – 1972)
Awards: Hasselblad Award (2008) · Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, Latin America & Caribbean (1988)
Graciela life was exposed to photography at a young age. Her father would take pictures of her and her siblings. These photos where in a box and she remembers how fun it was to open the box and enjoy the thoughts that they represented. At the age of eleven she received her first camera. But, she didn’t turn to photography until after the death of her daughter Claudia in 1970. Maybe this is the my link of picking her to write about. Myself I also lost a child, a son in 1983. I understand the need to have a project to fill the void in your heart.
This self portrait of Graciela gave me the feeling of someone in deep thought. I started to really get a sense of connection of spirit with her and her subjects.
Graciela collaborated with famous Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo and she also studied filmography. Along with Alvarez Bravo, she began to explore the native areas of her country depicting the life of the people. This influenced her career as a photographer. She received the Eugene Smith grant for humanitarian photography and a scholarship to Guggenheim college.
In 1979 she was asked to photograph a village near the Sonoran Desert. This was her first collection of photographs to be released titled “Angel Woman”. This first real experience as a photographer began to model her views on life. She became a strong supporter of feminism. Her next collection was shot at Juchitan, Oaxaca, a city where woman dominated the town.
As I reviewed her photos I realized that they were about the life of the people, a lot of emotion and she documented a moment in time.
I found that she did a collection of “Lost Dogs”. This is right up my alley, doggies, it is a sad documentary of the condition of life some dogs in Mexico. Photos of abandoned dog, stray dogs, starving dogs scared dogs and confused dogs. It is the good, the bad, the ugly and even the funny.