María Isabel Vasquez - A Passion for the Self-PortraitSaturday, March 30, 2019
Participating in a recent group art show in Venice was a perfect excuse to travel to Italy with my Rosemary and spend days in museums there, in Florence and in Siena.
For many years (about 10) I had one-person, and group shows in Vancouver galleries. I had a joint one with Nora Patrich in Buenos Aires last September. By now I know not to have expectations and simply enjoy seeing my work on a wall. Rosemary has been supportive in spite of all the money I have spent, that some might suggest was in vain.
I had one expectation before we left for Venice. This was that I would meet new people and artists and that I would have the opportunity to exchange notes, opinions and conversation.
But that was not to be. The organizer in three different opening did not put much effort in getting the exhibiting artists together. I met a couple and had a great time with them.
After all the hoopla of the opening when we returned to Vancouver I suddenly found out (to my amazement and pleasure) that some of the artists I did not meet wanted to be my friends in social media.
One very interesting one is photographer María Isabel Vasquez. We are now friends via long distance communication.
Her photography is reminiscent of the implausible idea that someone like Helmut Newton would ever take erotic self-portraits. We all know about Cindy Sherman. In the case of Vasquez her photographs combine the obsession of Sherman’s self-portraits with the elegant, (subtle perhaps?) approach of Newton.
Vasquez’s life is an interesting one. She was born in Piura, Perú. I have some inside knowledge of that place. When Mario Vargas Llosa was running for the Peruvian presidency I was there to interview him and photograph him for Books in Canada. One particular day he traveled to Piura on campaign. It seems he ate a ceviche that made him very sick. That evening he was to attend a meeting held at the Peruvian/Japanese Society in Lima. He did not go. I did. The other person who attended was Alberto Fujimori. I suspect that Vargas Llosa lost that evening to the relief of those of us who admire his writing. This meant that he continued writing.
Vasquez lives in Wales. I know
no more about her.
|Mario Vargas Llosa , shortly after the Piura ceviche
But I knew enough to figure out that we could pursue her passion for the self portrait. We will communicate via social media video, she with her phone and me with my computer monitor. She will use her phone and in real time I will photographs what I see in my monitor with my digital camera.
Venice to the rescue!