Argentina is filled with so many wonderful artists, from musicians to painters to the most dazzling wordsmiths. Every one of them contributes something to the tapestry of the country’s rich cultural output. But there’s an artform that’s just as powerful, just as beautiful, and just as thriving in the local cultural scene, though you wouldn’t exactly know it from the amount of coverage it gets. That’s photography!
The art of capturing a moment, of finding the right combination of light and objects, of taking a fleeting arrangement of bodies and turning it into an enduring image… it’s an artform that’s sometimes overlooked. At least, in discussions about Argentinian art.
I decided to put together a quick list of some of my favorite photographers from the local scene. Some of these you may have heard of, others you probably have not, but they all bring a unique perspective to the artform. This is, by no means, a complete list. There’s a lot of incredible (and very noteworthy) Argentine photographers missing from this piece. But these are just a few personal favorites that I wanted to share with you and I hope you’ll enjoy.
At the very least I hope this list gets you thinking about following more photographers from Argentina, and the artform as a whole.
Adriana Lestido is one of the most renowned photographers in Argentina’s history. Famously, she took a lot of photographs during the military dictatorship, as well as a very powerful project documenting the life of prison inmates. My personal favorite project of hers is her series on the relationship between mothers and daughters. It’s gorgeous and moving, like photography can often be.
Speaking of birthing bodies, Natalia Roca is another great photographer who has captured some truly stirring images documenting childbirth. I love the raw emotion of her work as well as her eye for composition.
Romina Ressia is one of my favorite portrait artists. She has a real knack for conveying both strangeness and humanity in her work. She creates these wonderful modern take on renaissance portraits that capture beauty as well as a playfully petulant attitude. Dignified figures sticking their tongues out or blowing bubblegum are common in her work. The joy of anachronism.
Nadia Bautista is one of those photographers who is dedicated to capturing bodies, the shapes and colors that make up our being, the different angles and contortions we don’t get to see in our everyday lives. Her work is extremely thought-provoking, tactile, and evocative.
Marcos Lopez is a fantastic photographer with a great knack for capturing the Argentine identity. He’s also become one of the most important figures within Latin American photography as a whole, serving as a kind of artistic ambassador to Argentina.
The bright, colorful world of Pablo Gomez Samela is one I would like to live permanently in. His work is so delightfully bizarre, as well as immediately recognizable as his very own.
Like Nadia Bautista, Candelaria Deferrari is another one of those photographers who choose to explore the human body in a new way. In her work, the physicality of the human shape is put in different contexts, alluding to work, to communal life experiences, and to spirituality. At the end of the day, that’s what photography is all about: showing us new ways to look at the world around us.
We could go on all day, but I hope this list has at least whet your appetite for the remarkable work of some of these photographers, and encourage you to seek new ones out. There’s many, many more to be shared. Maybe we will make this a recurring series?