Christopher Alessandrini is a writer based in New York, where he works in the digital department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (March 2019)

NYR DAILY

Graciela Iturbide, Visionary Ethnographer

Graciela Iturbide: Baile (Dance), Juchitán, México, 1986

According to Iturbide, there are—pace Cartier-Bresson—two “decisive moments” in photography: “One, when you take the photo; and two, when you discover it in the contact sheet, because you often think you took one photo, and another comes out.” But perhaps there is a third decisive moment in Iturbide’s photography, the moment a relationship begins. When Iturbide first spotted Díaz at the Juchitán market, in her halo of iguanas, she asked to take her picture. In Our Lady of the Iguanas (1979), Díaz is vaulted from the market’s everyday bustle into the realm of myth.