Why does Iturbide prefer to photograph in black and white?
“What I see in black and white is more truthful to me,” Iturbide says. While she has experimented with color photography, she believes that monochrome captures reality far better than color although her dreamy and poetic compositions blend that reality with surreal and evocative characteristics.
Iturbide’s devotion to black-and-white photography can be seen in her artistic lineage. She trained with noted Latin American photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo and was also influenced by international pioneers of the medium, including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Tina Modotti.
Throughout her career, Iturbide has preferred to use film cameras rather than digital ones. Her photographs convey keen attention to detail and rely on natural light. The resulting dramatic shadows and ethereal effects give her work a haunting, contemplative, and psychological quality. Photographing in black and white also lends a sense of gravitas and sensitivity to themes of death and tragedy that recur in her work. Color, she says, “feels like Disneyland.”
Artists at Work Video Series: Graciela Iturbide
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Graciela Iturbide’s photographs reveal the daily lives, customs, and rituals of Mexico’s underrepresented native cultures.