Eduardo Izquierdo's photography is a breath of fresh air. An opportunity to escape from reality and get lost in the intimacy of authenticity. We got to chat with him on his work, creative process and appreciation of natural beauty.
What inspired you to start this project?
I'm fascinated by feminine beauty in its most raw, natural form. I became interested in studying expressions that captivated me — of love, affection, intimacy. In the process, I became fascinated by the details that define the person: the texture of their skin, each with their own particular constellation of freckles, how they move their lips as they breathe, their subtleties in their gaze, and their mannerisms when, for example, they use their hands to fix their hair. Creating portraits for me is a certain falling in love, and that's a lot of how this project got started.
The title of this series is Unusually Natural Feminine Beauty. Tell me a little about your naming decision.
Well, the title of the project came a good while after doing what I was doing. For about 3 years now, I have been simply focused on trying to portray what I find beautiful in women. The title came more from the feedback I received. It was the audience that made me realize I was focusing on a very particular aspect of women: a rather raw, natural and feminine aspect of their beauty. So, it has been in the study itself that I have come to better understand the differences in how I see women to the way I've come to see how they are usually portrayed. I'm interested in the beauty to be found in their natural look — no makeup, no jewelry, no stylizing, no artificial lights, or aftereffects. I've been actually mystified to realize the extent to which this is a radical departure from modern portraiture and modern lifestyle in general. That's where the "unusually natural" part came from.
I noticed that most of the females you work with are from Indiana. How do you find who you decide to photograph?
I started by asking friends. Then, friends of friends. After a while, I started photographing models from a few agencies in the Midwest. Lately, I've been photographing ballerinas more and more. There are a number of things I really enjoy about working with them, and in general with non-models. I love the freshness and honesty of the interaction. A lot of this project for me is to notice the beauty around me. That's part of the reason most of the models live nearby.
If you had to describe your work in three words, what would they be?
Raw, natural, intimate.
What is your creative process like?
I think in my case, the majority of the creative process is in the one-on-one interaction with the subject at the time of the shoot. The condition for my portrait study is minimalist: a few windows, a plain background, often dark, the model and me. The simplicity is deliberate. Rather than trying to portray some concept I have inside my head, onto a subject that is willing to do what I want; I'm more interested in finding out what can emerge from our interaction. If the photograph is to communicate something, I want it to be something that did not exist in any one of our heads prior to it materializing through the ongoing interaction. I think there is far richer beauty in that subtle human dance than in any one specific concept that I (or anyone else) could dream up individually.
What does wild mean to you?
To have the courage to explore who you are, endlessly.
Interview by Sienna Brown
About the Artist
Eduardo Izquierdo is originally from Venezuela. He's been traveling for the past 12 years and is currently living in Bloomington, Indiana. Eduardo is an academic and his research is in computational neuroscience. More generally, he want to tell a story, see the world, make art, take photos, change attitudes, share thoughts, make memories, hear good music, drink good coffee, dig his feet in the sand, ride his bike, inspire, rebel, revolutionize, make a difference. That's all.