A Mexican Portrait, by Martha Gabriela Driessen


Kuratiert von:

Mexican Cultural Institute DC

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Women carrying flowers, men and musical instruments, children playing in cemeteries, shoe shiners, hat sellers, traditional dresses and happenstance from everyday life. This is Martha Driessen’s “Mexican Portrait”. The exhibition is a collection of carefully crafted black and white images from Driessen’s most recent work in Mexico. In the style of street photography, the exhibition explores the identity of Mexican people through candid moments of their everyday life.

From a scene in a small town in Oaxaca to a detail of the streets in Mexico City, an intimate fleeting moment or an exhilarating gesture; the photographs highlight serendipity and idiosyncrasies that are familiar but not obvious. Driessen’s photographs evoke empathy and warmth in the Mexican culture, often revealing the complicity between the photographer and her subjects. The work does not describe a place or explain a culture, rather, it provides a space for the ordinary and the conventional as it is precisely those moments that, collectively, make life extraordinary.

All images are archival pigment prints printed by the artist.

Martha Gabriela Driessen was born and raised in Mexico City and has lived in the United States half of her life. Bilingual and bicultural, Driessen has maintained deep roots in her native Mexico and strong ties with her people. In her recent work, she explores the identity and idiosyncrasies of her fellow Mexicans on both sides of the border. Driessen photographs candid moments of everyday life on the streets around the world, often under the mentorship of Magnum photographer, Nikos Economopoulos. At home, she shares a studio with Minneapolis photographer Tom Arndt, a strong influence in her work. Driessen has participated in juried shows and solo exhibitions most recently in Singapore and South Africa. Her work is in private collections as well as in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, UNISA Gallery at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, and the Minnesota History Center.

“Defined by the marriage of two cultures, my work is inspired by my Mexican essence, my American reality and the simplicity of life. My work is a collection of images in which perfection can be found in imperfection; where the nuances come forward to highlight the beauty of everyday life.” – Martha Gabriela Driessen

Presented by the Embassy of Mexico in the United States and the Mexican Cultural Institute DC

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