Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Jesusa Vargas reviews Pedro Meyer

Pedro Meyer is a renowned Mexican contemporary photographer born in Spain Madrid. He was the founder and president of the Consejo Mexicano de Fotografia, this was an institution that promoted research in photography. Pedro has also been a teacher, curator, and director of a website name ZoneZero. ZoneZero has been quoted as being a "space for dialogue with photography as a starting point and subject.

The Announcement, 1980
Ocumicho, Michoacan, Mexico.
35mm b/w negative

The highly contrasted image captures my attention in this black and white photograph taken in Mexico. The tonal contrasts include all tones from white, middle grays, to dark blacks. The low key approach the photographer takes creates a mysterious scene. My eyes are, first drawn towards the person in white on the right side of the composition. The white figure is facing left, guiding my eyes in that direction towards the darker background. This, then, pulls me into the image to take a closer inspection and inventory of other subject matter. I feel that this dramatic image becomes visually powerful when creating a highly contrasted composition and places a large focus on the subject in white and creates a serious mood.

The Cornered Virgin, 1975
35mm b/w negative

Centering the subject matter and creating a deadpan aesthetic not only forces your full attention but creates a direct relationship, a sense that the woman in the image is looking directly at you. She is forcing us to see her, a voyeuristic approach is then to be had when viewing this photograph. Her body follows the lines of the wall behind her. Her back is up against the corner of the wall and her legs are open, following the lines of each wall to the left and right of her. She becomes the corner of the room. I feel that because the image is black and white, I focus more on the forms, lines, light, and shadows than the nude body as a sexual object.

Self-Portrait in Hell, 1978
New York, N.Y., USA
Poloraid 3.5x4.2" Modification during developing

I chose to share this image because of the different approach taken in creating this photograph. Pedro created a self-portrait on a polaroid and altered it in such a way, during developing, that it created an entire different environment and texture. You can see that the entire image space is not altered/modified, Pedro's image in the left side of the composition is untouched and visible. The surrounding space appears to be distorted, melting or giving an appearance of flames in the bright yellows, orange, and reds. He may have very well taken the image indoors, a bedroom with natural light coming through windows on both sides. Perhaps a yellow curtain changes the tone of the room. The altered environment also creates dimension, depth similar to a bas-relief.

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