Andrew Quilty: Mexicans
They slept in yards, on string hammocks, and worked out the following day’s course over beer, tequila and the smell of Cuban cigarettes.
“My motivations were just like any other traveller’s – to look and to learn, to taste and smell and hear a new place,” he said. “I’d like to think that as a photographer though, I was able to see rather than just look.”
If Mexicans is essentially a travel journal, it is one made by a specially trained eye, turned away from tourist traps and honed in on the map’s isolated areas.
His acute observations exploit the vibrant palette of Mexico in film without disturbing the daily rhythms and recreation of its people.
Mexico is a land rich and proud in culture, of people true to their roots yet equally impressionable, people who use their feet and their hands in a pre-industrialised fashion, who sit and watch, who walk rather than drive, who truly retire in old age, who fix and mend rather than dispose of, whose kindred are absolutely family and whose fascination and admiration for their northern neighbours is curiously apparent but who, when all is said and done, are Mexicans; inimitable and unique.*
Mexicans officially opens on Tuesday 17 May, 6-8 pm and is on show until June 29.
Barry Stern Gallery 19 Glenmore Rd, Paddington, Sydney
* Extracts from the introduction of Mexicans, a limited edition book that accompanies the series.