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The first thing that strikes viewers of Luis González Palma’s hand-painted gelatin silver prints is the bright white of his subjects’ eyes. He captures his subjects in sepia tint, carefully leaving behind white details, like the eyes, to intensify the gaze, or otherwise adding embellishment with thickly layered oil paint or watercolor washes. The result is a body of seemingly timeless psychological portraits, searching for what González Palma calls “the consciousness of our solitude.” The Argentina-based photographer often turns his lens to the indigenous Mayan and mestizo people of his native Guatemala—dressed in traditional costumes as they stare blankly into the future—using his camera to document their plight after centuries of persecution.
Guatemalan, b. 1957, Guatemala City, Guatemala, based in Cordoba, Argentina