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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Book Review: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Image above: ©Dimitris Yeros 

 

In describing magical realism, Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier affectionately described the genre as "an unaccustomed insight that is singularly favored by the unexpected richness of reality or an amplification of the scale and categories of reality." This sentiment, although seemingly particular to literature, is evocative of the transformative and transcendental capacity of the photographic medium. Portrait photography informs and preforms in a way most other methods of portraiture fall short of; uninhibited by artistic interpretation and prejudice, photography captures the entirety of an individual's personage, with every wrinkle and every gesture boldly on display.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.08.08 PM©Dimitris Yeros .

 

The camera becomes a passport into an individual's life and the photograph, a tangible preservation of that life, of the subject's unique energy and aura- how the subject engages with their environment, the photographer, and the camera itself is all revealed, condensed in a beautiful, all-encompassing still life.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.06.17 PM©Dimitris Yeros .

 

When painter and photographer Dimitri Yeros approached the secretary of renowned novelist and nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez with an idea he had for a photography book of Marquez, she embraced the request with enthusiasm. "With a book like that," she told Yeros, "the authors admirers, who, unlike us, haven't had the opportunity to meet him, can see how he is in daily life, in photographs without any journalistic purpose."

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.07.22 PM ©Dimitris Yeros .

 

Although widely admired, the beloved author, known for his influence on the development of magical realism, was also criticized by his fans, particularly those from his hometown of Cartagena, Colombia, for his propensity to reclusivity outside of the companionship of friends and family.

 Released on the 1 year anniversary of his death, Yeros' book Photographing Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a tender and intimate homage to the literary hero turned friend who Yeros had the privilege to get to know over the years. With each turn of the page, another facet of the otherwise complex Marquez emerges, rendering a well-rounded, comprehensive image of the author. The "inexhaustible" humor Yeros describes is depicted through jovial images of Marquez, with playful eyes and a genuine smile. His solitary side does not go unexplored, however, with a concession from Marquez himself that he is "a sad and lonely creature," pictured next to a more somber, melancholy image. Shifts in demeanor and mood are also observed; in some images, Marquez is relaxed and at ease, while in others, he is tense and rigid.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.07.10 PM©Dimitris Yeros .

 

Even declines in Marquez's health are recorded and apparent with the progression of time. These portraits are further enriched and enlivened with pictures of friends and family, personal anecdotes of his life, a Sharpie marker self-portrait, the poem that compelled Marquez to write, quirky handwriting samples, and beautiful landscape photography of Marquez's home, adopted city and birthplace. By the end of the book, one can't help but be enamored with the legendary author, while also satiated and humbled by his honest and very real personhood. In many ways, Yereo's photography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is very much in tune with the magical realism Marquez crafted. In his humility, Marquez is divine. His life is simultaneously mundane and spectacular. In examining his day-to-day life, an otherwise unnoticed layer appears, and the exuberant energy and essence of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is captured with grace and simplicity.

by Jacqueline Flynn

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