Graciela Iturbide, Photographing Mexico


By art21. From Mexico City, artist Graciela Iturbide discusses her personal and artistic relationship to politics and inequality in Mexico. “We have such wonderful traditions—such wonderful people,” says Iturbide, who was close to leftist parties in Mexico. “But, it’s very sad that there is so much social injustice.” In contrast to her strong political views, she prefers to photograph people “independently of the injustice” to avoid sensationalizing their lives. Iturbide embeds herself within the communities when taking photographs throughout Mexico, attending events such as births and festivals. The artist is shown at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City where she produced a series of photographs taken in Kahlo’s bathroom. For Graciela Iturbide, the camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. Her interest, she says, lies in what her eyes see and what her heart feels—what moves her and touches her. Although she has produced studies of landscapes and culture in India, Italy, and the United States, her principal concern has been the exploration and investigation of Mexico—her own cultural environment—through black-and-white photographs of landscapes and their inhabitants, abstract compositions, and self-portraits.

Cite this page as: Art21, "Graciela Iturbide, Photographing Mexico," in Smarthistory, January 15, 2021, accessed June 14, 2024,