During Fotofest, we had a chance to meet a wonderful photographer from Mexico City named Ivonne Hop. After seeing her prints of the rainforest. We could feel the leafs under foot and feel the humidity rise from the rain forest floor. Since that time we have been able to correspond with Ivonne via email. She was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself and her photography and we would like to share them with you.
When did you first pick up a camera?
When my first baby was born; but professionally, when I started studying artistic photography, in 1994.
What photographers and artist inspire you?
The Magnum photographers, specially Henri Cartier Bresson, but also some others such as Tina Modotti, Imogen Cunningham, Sebastian Salgado, Edward Weston, Robert Doisneau, Diane Arbus, and so many others.
What obstacles have you faced as a photographer, and how have you over come them?
I think that the major obstacle is that here in Mexico there are very few photo galleries. Even if they like your work, maybe they can plan an exhibition after 2 years or more; also the culture of photography as a piece of art is not so strong. I’ve made several exhibitions in Mexico and Eastern Europe, but I have noticed that my work is much more understood and appreciated by the people in Europe.
Were the arts encouraged in your family? Your community?
No, not in my family, or my community. My grandparents were from Syria and Lebanon, and the Mexican”machismo” was too strong at that time, so it wasn’t good for a woman to aspire for something more than to become a good wife and mother. Since I was a small child, I loved to draw and paint, and dance; I wasn’t encouraged to do that. I remember I used to have the skills; when I grew up, I’ve got a scholarship to study Architecture in the US, which I had to reject it, because my parents did not allow me to study a professional career, not in the U.S. or Mexico; “woman were made for marriage” 35 years ago.
Could you tell me about your average day as a photographer?
In which way? I do not understand the question. ( in the mornings, usually I take care of my house , try to make some exercise, and in the evenings I dedicate my time in photography “I do my husband’s catalogues”, I work in my own projects, and reading. Once a week I go with some cousins or friends to take a coffee !!! )
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I like to go to exhibitions and Museums, and I look for photographers at my computer(Google); but most of all I follow my own feelings and ideas to create my images.
What do you want to say with your work?
I want to share my feelings and experiences though life with other people.
Thank you Ivonne.
Ivonne Hop has had exhibitions in Mexico and Europe, but not in the U.S. We hope that will change in the near future. While you can find some of her photographs on the web, it does not do her work justice. Hopefully this introduction will bring the talented photographer a larger audience.
You can find more of her work at her website at Ivonne Hop.