In the mid-to-late 1970s, Iturbide began a series photographing and documenting villagers in rural Mexico. Her first collection of these images, titled Mujer Angel (Angel Woman), was released in 1979. This first experience as a published photographer shaped Iturbide’s views on life, making her a strong supporter of feminism as well as a leading activist in recognizing and preserving the culture of the pre-Hispanic peoples. Inspired by the positive response to her works, Iturbide began to intermittently publish and exhibit earlier photographs, made from previous trips through Mexican villages.
The photographs by Iturbide included in this prospectus are demonstrative of her expressive style and compassion in capturing marginalized figures—subjects operating outside the mores of contemporary urban society. In Plañideras (Mourners), the silent anguish of the three women is tangibly etched across their faces. In Carnaval the absence of gala decoration and the isolation of the figure causes viewers to question whether or not the subject is part of the celebration—and with the inclusion of the subject’s mask, it is impossible for the viewer—or photographer—to know the answer.