Claire Ruzicka’s Spellbinding Photos from Mexico
(“Faces of Oaxaca”) unveils the influences of a mentor, Mary Ellen Mark,
along with the formidable landscape, the existing ambient light of higher
elevations, the indomitable spirit of her subjects and Ruzicka’s own intuitive
eye. She reveals nature, landscape and humankind in a new relationship to the
The compositional beauty of these empathic, ethnographic portraits also seems to be shaped by the alluring peaks and centuries-old cultures of mestizo and Spanish traditions of the “iglesia,” purged of the conquistadors’ fiats. But the beauty is deceptive. Claire shot multiple frames of her subjects to isolate moments that movement would not let us see. Each photo gives us the opportunity to think, to make a change, to decide, and then to act upon that decision. In that “decisive moment,” she tells us the story that we may embrace and hear.