Flor Garduño is renowned as one of the most outstanding representatives of Latin American photography continuing the lineage of the poet-photographers that defined the medium during the 20th century. Instilled in Garduño from her formative years in Mexico is a belief that there is a delicate beauty and a primal quality within the simplest of things which she captures in her photographs. Her powerful compositions possess an aura of poetic metaphor. The images have enormous emotional strength imbued with regional symbols, as well as universal signs that touch all of humanity. A mysterious natural light envelops Garduño’s subjects creating a uniquely personal black and white ambiance that emphasizes the sacred aspects and beauty she reveals in familiar people and objects.
Garduño’s photographic subjects are well known to her and her imagery is steeped in nature and Mexican folklore. The bodies portrayed are personalized, the mythology shown is internalized. For Garduño, the uniqueness of the bodies is their beauty. In the introduction by Veronica Volklow to Garduño’s monograph “Inner Life,” she notes, “Garduño’s images seem to have been stolen, not from the street, the countryside, the studio, but from a deeply intimate dimension…Each body is like a star. It radiates a beauty that emerges from an overflowing richness.” The pictures in their strength, fragility, and beauty are ultimately studies of humanity.
Flor Garduño had the privilege to study under Hungarian photographer Kati Horna. She was the darkroom assistant to perhaps Mexico’s best-known photographer, Manuel Alvarez Bravo. These experiences greatly influenced not only Garduño’s aesthetics, but also her technical aptitude. Garduño’s work photographing through remote areas of Mexico and its indigenous people would raise her interest and sensitivity to her Mexican origins. Her work is multi-faceted including folklore, landscapes, portraiture, nudes, and still lifes. Garduño’s work has appeared in a number of international exhibitions and in the collections of such respected institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Israel Museum of Jerusalem, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum Ludwig of Cologne, and the Tokyo Fuji Art Museum. Her refined and sophisticated eye as well as perfect control of technical methods creates emotionally powerful and poetically moving photographs.