Luis Gonzáles Palma > 6pm Tues Photo lecture


Lecture by photographer Luis Gonzáles Palma

Tuesday, October 27th, 6:00 p.m.

in Montague Hall 70.

Over the past decade, Luis González Palma has become recognized as one of the most influential photographers in

Latin America. The artist employs photo-collage and hand painted warm toned photographic images that are easily identified for their color and mysterious, sometimes theatrical scenes. His innovative visual language is rich in the symbolism of indigenous myth and culture, Catholicism and humanity. González Palma’s photographs are marked by visual texture

and symbolism reflective of Latin America’s legacy of colonialism, the subjugation of the native cultures of his home country Guatemala and, more recently, the vague complexities of interpersonal relationships…

more info

post your extra credit reflection to the comments here.


13 thoughts on “Luis Gonzáles Palma > 6pm Tues Photo lecture

  1. I really liked this lecture mostly because it was an artist from Latin America. The significance that he creates in Jerarquia de soledad an all of the facets are really interesting specially the religious significance. Another work that I thought that it was really impressive was the domestic violence, coming from a country where the violence is a very strong issue. It was nice to know that must of his work was in collaboration of his wife. This gives a great meaning to his work and to what he tries to achieve in it.


  2. Holly Urspringer

    Luis Gonzales Palma’s lecture was quite interesting in the way that he spoke about his photographs. It was refreshing that he didn’t present his work as a world famous photographer, but more as enjoying them with the audience, he just present his pictures and what they meant to him. The photos, which he used members of his family, are breath taking. The warm tones were very welcoming. It was hard to believe all of his photos, for how beautiful they are, they mostly deal with violence and controversy about gays, race, and religion. Even though there was a language barrier, it was pleasantly surprising how much you were able to understand, and see his emotional attachment to his photographs.


  3. I liked the imagery of the loincloth of christ and the artists explanation that
    it was about the absence of Christ in the loincloth. I thought a lot
    of his work was very visually interesting, but I don’t entirely feel them
    on a personal level. Some of the pieces were intended to depict things
    like abuse within relationships, and that particular series did not
    convey the intended message to me. Overall a very interesting body of work.


  4. Although the lecture started roughly (translator issues) it soon became quite informative with Palma speaking about his reasons for his images and his materials they are presented in and upon. One of the main issues that he is trying to create a dialogue about is the violence against women in the countries he lives and has lived in. He said during the QandA that since he believed “a good photograph is easy”to create an artist must have good and interesting ideas. Palma’s ideas are intertwined into the materials and processes that he uses.
    Very good overall presentation even with the interpreter. The Q and A was quite helpful being able to pick apart some of the more intricate parts of his processes.


  5. Luis Gonzalez Palma is a Latin American Photographer from Guatemala and Argentina. His photography is centralized around his one search for something that is missing in his life. His ideas help him live and to better understand things. He likes to explore different alternative processes and techniques to help him search for his missing meaning. Most of his works have a sense of melancholy in it – form of sense or a feeling. He does some pieces on women and violence in his country and some of his other pieces also feel feminized by the technique that he uses – like fragile rice paper. His partner is his wife who helps him with his images by donating her wig, which is used in many of his projects. She writes poetry that is usually juxtaposed with his photography. Together they made a book about their family. His process for many of his projects is using transparent film over gold leaf. He even made miniature jaw-like structures out of white chocolate. The thing that he wanted us to know is that a lot of his works are also focused around Catholicism and that he sees his projects as small failures in search for an answer to a certain question in void (never filled) and therefore, he always reshoots. I personally enjoyed this lecture. He was very interesting, even though he didn’t really talk (had an interpreter). I really enjoyed his work and was inspired to go shoot more and try other alternative processes.


  6. Reflecting on the lecture given by Luis Gonzalez Palma I would like to comment on his conceptual ideas in which he chooses to work. Almost all of his work focuses on ideas of relationships; the interactions between couples, whether it’s a series using him and his wife, or capturing the existence of domestic violence in Guatemala as part of the relationship. His series Bodyguards used ideas of showing the male strength but was printed on thin rice paper and folded to also show a fragility of a female. In a lot of his work he doesn’t use people as subjects, but uses objects such as chairs and beds to show a relationship. I found his work to be quite powerful, he uses photography as the art of looking into things he has yet to find or can not explain. He creates this mystery and melancholy in all of his work by allowing the viewer to also witness this unknown question.


  7. I went to Palma’s presentation not really knowing what to expect, and left thinking more and more about my own photography, and how I could employ similar techniques. This to me is evidence of a good photographer. His work has incredible mystery, and a soft human touch that draws you in like nothing else. Much of his photography evokes religious struggle and the fragility of the human consciousness, which is taken, if I understood correctly, from his views on the people of Guatemala and other Latin American countries and the struggles they go through every day. In short, his photography was pretty incredible. It’s interesting and beautifully shot, so it is easy to understand why successful.


  8. At first I was skeptical about how much I would get out of the lecture with the translation snags, but after everything started going I found myself really getting into the work. One thing that I really took from the lecture was when he said something along the lines of how anyone can take a beautiful photograph but it is the meaning behind them and the ideas that are being presented that is important. The pictures that really intrigued me were the ones with objects where they shouldn’t be. For example the image with the chandelier under the table, or the one with the wall through the bed. To me they were very striking and made you reconsider how objects can interact with the space they’re in.


  9. I thought that Luis Gonzalez Palma’s works were very beautiful. His imagery was very poetic I felt and even if you didn’t know the context of the work, you could sense that there was a deep and powerful thought behind it. His process of working with gold leaf was very interesting to me and intrigued me to want to look into it further. I thought that the language barrier was significant and I struggled to see his ideas as clearly as they probably could have been portrayed had an interpreter not been necessary. Overall, though, I thought that the presentation of his work was done very well and enjoyed hearing about his work. Also, I loved what he said about how (and I’m paraphrasing here) “every project should be a small failure which causes us to try again.”


  10. I wasn’t able to make it to Luis Gonzalez Palma’s lecture on Monday night, but I was very fortunate to have him come speak to our class. I am in the internship program at the Tweed Art Museum and during our class time on Thursday, Luis walked us through his exhibit in the Tweed. He was with our class for about an hour and a half that afternoon. It was an amazing experience. I personally have never walked through a gallery with an artist before, taking the time to talk about each piece and allowing the audience to speak their opinions. Luis approached each piece giving us a few moments to interpret the piece, then letting us share our interpretations with the group, then allowing us to ask him questions, and finally he explained his meaning for the piece. It was a very intimate setting with a small class, but a lot of unique powerful interpretations were shared. The concept of using gold leaf was very new and interesting to me. I love how it looks on each piece his work. Definitely something I would like to experiment with on a project in the future. The gold leaf added a mysterious, unique touch to each piece. Some of the works looked like an older antique photograph, but it was just the gold leaf. The language barrier was a little difficult at times. We could tell Luis had a perfect descriptive word in his head, but couldn’t think of the correct english translation. Many of us in the class have traveled to a Latin American country so we were able to help him express what he was trying to say. Overall this was a positive experience for me to be a part of a mini class lecture with Luis Gonzalez Palma.


  11. On October 27th I went to the lecture to see the photographer Luis Gonzáles Palma. I am glad I went. Hearing him talk about his own work made all his pieces, in my mind, more powerful. In his artwork he deals with what he believes is a constant struggle, life. Most of his artwork contained his family, his religious values, and controversy of homosexuals and race. Which in my own personal opinion makes the work stronger. He was not afraid to deal with issues that make a lot of people uncomfortable. He said that he didn’t think his work would drastically change any world conflict or issues, but more made them documented. To say the least he was a very humble man.
    A lot of his work was in a sepia tones, giving me a somber feeling, and yet at the same time inviting. His work is mostly high contrast black and white. It was also interesting how he used gold leaf in his work. It made me consider the different ways I could look into developing my photos and making my work unique.
    My favorite work of his was definitely the work that featured his children. Although he spoke a different language than what I can understand, I could tell by the sound and emotion in his voice how important they were to him. Knowing it was so important to him, made me also see the importance. I also appreciated the work he did featuring Christ’s loincloth. It was so abstract and almost a little bit strange, and because of that it made me what to look at it longer and ask questions.

    jessica brotzler


  12. Out of all of the visiting artist lectures I’ve attended, Palma’s presentation was one of my favorites. I loved the fact that he uses alternative processes, especially ones that have fallen into disuse. I feel that the digital age makes things much more generic, and takes a little bit of the artistic aspect out of photography. He has to work so much harder to make his shots work because he doesn’t use any photoshopping, and I respect him for that. During the lecture he said that “every project is a small failure, [and] that is why we continue to work.” I can totally identify with that. Palma made me realize that especially now, while i’m in school, class projects shouldn’t be about who has the best work in the class, it’s about self improvement and learning to better yourself.


  13. I went and listened to Luis Ganzales Palma speck about his photos. I was glad that I went to this because the photos were very interesting. Although it was hard to understand what he was trying to say, he explained why he did the photos and the passion that he had. The photos that he showed were unbelievable, i don’t know how he got the images that he did, he said he didn’t use photoshop. His photos reflect his love for his family and the love of christ. I enjoyed his lecture and his photos that he showed.


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