PRESS RELEASE - Portrait and Place: Contemporary Latin American Photography

Eight Modern
01/06/2009

Portrait and Place: Contemporary Latin American Photography

January 30-Febuary 28

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO — Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Portrait and Place: Contemporary Latin American Photography.

Portrait and Place brings together a group of artists from Mexico, Peru, Panama and Cuba whose photographs explore their subjects’ connections, both expected and unexpected, to their cultural and geographical context.  Included in the exhibition are Robert Fantozzi, Flor Garduño, Graciela Iturbide, Rachelle Mozman and René Peña.

Born in 1953 and based in Lima, Fantozzi won first place in a photography contest sponsored by the University of Lima in 1976. Inspired to pursue photography as a career, he earned a Fulbright scholarship and received his M.F.A. in 1981 from the Rhode Island School of Design. With a taste for the bizarre, Fantozzi’s work frequently touches upon the art of photography itself, or other methods of representation.

Garduño’s sensual, poetic black-and-white photographs of the native peoples of the Americas and female nudes draw deeply from a vein of mythic symbolism and magical realism. Her work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and at the national fine arts museums of numerous countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and her native Mexico. Garduño has published seven monographs, for which she has won numerous awards.

Considered one of the most influential modern Mexican photographers, Iturbide’s images have become emblematic of Mexican ritual and culture. Fascinated by both the theatrical and mundane, Iturbide describes the camera as "an instrument capable of disintegrating moral barriers, personal and social inhibitions, trusts and distrusts."  Her work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Getty Museum, and she has received numerous honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2008 Hasselbad Foundation Award in Photography.

Mozman is based in both Panama City and Brooklyn. Also a former Fulbright scholar, Mozman received her M.F.A. in 1998 from the Tyler School of Art. Her recent photographic projects, American Exurbia and Costa del Este, depicts children from New Jersey and Panama in their homes, drawing surprising parallels between products of similar exurban environments. Mozman’s work exists as an exploration of identity creation and globalization, depicting moments where individuality meets the constraints of newly formed communities and cultures.

Contrast is a central theme in the work of Cuban photographer René Peña. Working in black and white, Pena explores the dualities that define us, such as the eternal tension between individual and institution. Pena takes searing, honest looks at the individual, including self-portraits that explore issues such as blackness and sexual ambiguity. A self-taught artist, Pena has been exhibited at the Houston Museum of Fine Art, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Cuba, Fototeca de Cuba, Lehigh University and SUNY-Albany.