Latin American Fotografia: Fer Quirarte

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 17, 2016

“To me, to be a photographer is about painting with the light.”

So says Fer Quirarte, a Mexican artist who works in a variety of mediums, from illustration and jewelry to fashion, cartoons, sculpture, posters and photography. It was one of his photographs, a shot of clothes hanging outside at a market, that earned him a spot among the winners of the Latin American Fotografia 4 competition.

Quirarte calls the photo “a brushstroke about the mysticism of Mexican culture; a glimpse of its colors, its textures, its contrasts, and its imaginary; a taste of the past in the modern world.” He shot the image in June, 2014, while visiting Chapala, Mexico´s largest freshwater lake.

“This image was so intuitive, was not planned,” he says. “I was walking through the market and I looked at the clothes hanging there with bold colors, and then I saw the maguey plant, and it was perfect. I thought: It is a slice of Mexico. It could be a Frida Kahlo’s or Diego Rivera´s painting inspiration; you could almost hear the mariachi and think about sitting and drinking some tequila or waiting for Maria Felix, a Mexican golden-age movie star, to enter into the scene.” He later titled the photo “Lay in the Sun.”

“The message is, I want to share my Mexico with you, come in!” Quiarte says. “The photo was not edited. The intention is to present the light as it is to the human eye so you can have the most accurate experience of reality. It has been said, ‘If you want to be universal, talk about your village.’ I am proud of my roots; that is why this subject is so recurrent in my work.”

Quiarte, who has a degree in graphic and industrial design, is also a multi-time winner of the Latin American Ilustracion for work that featuring themes like Mexican cowboys, tequila, and mariachi (see above). “This time I wanted to enter the Latin American Fotografía contest as professional exercise, to see what would happen,” he says.

“I believe the word ‘passion’ is the link between all the different works that I do,” Quirarte says. “I have been a juror at international graphic image contests, and I was selected by the School of Visual Arts in Beijing to participate in a collective exhibition. I have taught design workshops and my illustrated album was presented at the Bologna Children´s Book Fair. The etymological meaning of my last name comes from the Greek root: khéir, which means hand, plus the word art; so the meaning of my name is ‘Hands of Art.’ I guess I was pre-destined to do something with my hands.”

Visit Fer Quirarte's website.


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