Rfotofolio is pleased to share the work of Guadalupe Quiroz. We saw her work at the Weston Scholarship show at the Marjorie Evans Gallery, in Carmel, CA in 2015.
Would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Well, first of all I want to thank you for this opportunity. I am a 23-year-old college student from Salinas, California. I was born in Mexico but was raised here in Salinas. I have two older brothers and two younger sisters, making me the middle child of my family. Since I can remember I have always been surrounded by art. I was raised in the East side of Salinas and always loved the urban art. This was the start of my interest in art. I am currently studying and working on majoring in Studio Arts but fell in love with analogue photography. I am hoping to keep developing my art and be a successful artist/photographer like the ones on this site.
How did you get started in photography?
Since I can remember, I have been the unofficial photographer in my family. I was always gladly getting the job of taking photographs in my family’s parties and any special occasions. When attending college one of my electives for majoring in art was to take a photography class. Of course I took that opportunity. The class was an introduction to digital photography. However, my photo teacher always talked about analogue photography. So I had to take it.It was an instant addiction. I ended up taking all of the classes and loved it. Right now I am currently doing digital, but still once in a while take film photographs.
Which photographers and other artists’ work do you admire?
I get inspired by many artists and photographers. I am also inspired by movies and music. One of the photographers that inspired me is Man Ray. I really love his Sabatier portraits. Also I was inspired by Salvador Dali. I recently fell in love with surrealism. There are too many great photographers to just name one. I really get inspired by the great women photographers. Not only were they great photographers but also they were pioneers. They got equal admiration at a time when women were not allowed or seen as artist.
Did you have a mentor?
My mentor would have to be my photography teacher Eric Bosler. He teaches his class as a very serious photo class. Taking his class I really saw photography as an art form. Before, I just saw photography as a hobby or career but not as an art form. He really opened my eyes to photography. He guide me and gave me artistic freedom and great constructive criticism, which I still keep in mind when taking a photograph. Other mentors would be my classmates who helped me a lot and showed me some of their techniques. Virgo and Saul are some of the most helpful friends I have ever met.
Do you mentor?
No I don’t. I still feel I need to learn more. I don’t feel confident enough to mentor people. But I have helped my friends and showed them my process. Simultaneously we teach each other and grow artistically together.
Would you share with us an image (not your own) that has stayed with you over time.
This is the photograph that has stayed with me over time. Because of the emotion it shows.
If you could spend the day with another photographer living or from the past who would it be?
Ethan Russell would be a photographer I would like to spend the day with. Just asking him about his past and just spending time listening to his stories. I could ask him how I can improve and just learn the most I could from him. This is one photographer but there are many others.
If no one saw your work, would you still create it?
Some of my early artwork was actually just seen by close friends and my sisters. So without a doubt I would still create my work. Just for the pleasure of expressing myself in something visual and just improving my skills.
How do you decide what your top images are?
For me that is a hard decision to make. However, I really have to love it to choose it as one of my top images. I have to just feel something special about it and take into consideration what I have learned. Angle, lighting, etc.
What has the Weston Scholarship meant to you?
The Weston Scholarship meant a lot to me. I really didn’t thinking I would even be chosen. It was the first time I felt one of my photographs got really appreciated. Also, it was the first time I felt like an actual artist. The Weston family is such a talented family and for them to critique my art work and see something in it, is such an awesome feeling. Being chosen among so many talented photographers is crazy.
Please tell us about your process and what is the perfect day for you.
I am very random and have an organized chaos process. I have an idea and go with it. However I organized my ideas first or think what my process should be to make my idea work. My perfect day would behaving the whole day for myself, be alone and go take photographs. Then having the darkroom for myself, putting on some good music, and seeing what develops in the process.
What challenges do you face as an artist?
Well, one of my challenges is to work with gloves because I am allergic to the photo chemicals. Yet the challenges I face as an artist is to find my style. Also just having the courage to get my work out there. I get a little self-conscious.
Will you share with us your process?
Well, it all starts before taking the actual photograph. I start with a concept. When I have the concept then I come up with ideas as to what I want to photograph and how I want them to look. I take the pictures. Then develop the film. Then the fun starts. I use two techniques when I make my photographs. They are superimposed and I use the Sabatier effect. The Sabatier effect is commonly known as solarization. I basically make a contact sheet and play around with the ideas I had before. Sometimes they come out how I imagine or close to it. However, sometimes there is a different result. Either resulting better than my initial idea or sometime not so great. But that’s what I love about analogue. You never know what the final result will end up being.
What is next?
What is next? I am not sure. But for sure, I have to finish school, improve my techniques, and learn as much as I can. And see where that takes me.
Thank you Guadalupe for sharing your work and time with us, we look forward to sharing more of your work in the future.
From the Weston Scholarship mission statement:
To educate and enlighten the community about the richness of photography on the West Coast. It is our goal to keep the traditional process of the black and white fine art photography alive in the tradition of Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Support this philosophy in our local schools – celebrating the roots of our photographic history. We offer students, artists, educators and the community the opportunity to experience the richness of photography through scholarships, mentorship, exhibitions, workshops, publications, lectures, video and artists in residence.
To learn more about the Weston Scholarship please visit their site at, Weston Scholarship.
Thank you to the photographers that share their work with us.
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