Graciela Iturbide
[Photographer, b. 1942, Mexico City, lives in Coyoacán, Mexico.]

 In a way my work is documentary. But I am also a photographer who has a distinct style. My photographs are a companion to the reality of the situation. 
 When I’m taking pictures I even forget that I have a camera. When I shoot I forget about everything. Light comes, death comes, people go in and out in costume—and it’s like a play. 
 Wherever we go we want to find the theme we carry inside ourselves. 
 I do not understand what makes me take a picture. Cartier-Bresson talks about the “decisive moment,” the necessity to function with “lynx eyes and silk gloves.” Perhaps what happens when you press the shutter is an intuitive act infused with all you have learned. 
 The camera is just a pretext for knowing the world. 
 What the eye sees is a synthesis of who you are and all you have learned. This is what I would call the language of photography. 
 I never use a telephoto lens. I need to be close to people. I need their complicity; I need them to be aware that I am there taking their picture. I hate paparazzi. 
 I don’t pretend to make my photographs speak the truth of what Mexico is all about. But in its villages I can feel the way culture is changing, and it’s fascinating to live through it and try to capture it on camera. 
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