FACES of a State

Chiapas, a state apart from a nation, a separate reality, an ancient land coming to grips with the modern world, a state of conflict, a state of immense potential; the potential is in the Gente de Chiapas.

The people of Chiapas are a diverse group with over 10 indigenous groups, principally Maya in ancestry, mestizos from Mexico and diverse peoples of the world living side by side. They live near beaches, deep in dense jungles and in high mountain villages. They are colorful and reserved, confident and striving for their place in the sun. The portraits by Cisco are a mirror into the inner being, they are what Cisco seeks to explore in these dynamic, comprehensible and lucid images of the GENTE DE CHIAPAS.

The camera is an excellent method to become acquainted with a country; a people. Individuals, with their moods, their pains, their beauty and their desires can be exposed with a lens, captured by silver salts and developed to be viewed later with a discerning eye. It is through this lens, that captures a slice of a community, an observation of the state of a people, that Cisco brings us closer to the touch and breath of a people. With these images one is afforded a glimpse of the Gente de Chiapas.

Printed on sepia toned black and white photographic paper the photos are of intense beauty and remarkable frankness. The photographs stimulate one to contemplate and promote questions and to penetrate this time and place. Within each impression is contained a world of information waiting to be embraced if one peers deeply, knowledgeably and with passion. When we see the portraits by Cisco, we see stunningly open and free looks into the heart and soul of his subjects.

These images are documents of Chiapas from 1998 to 2005, a time that is spinning away to a uniformity of appearance. What distinguishes these images is their resolve to give evidence to this exceptionally dynamic changing world of Chiapas.

Cisco’s work is a raw document of those he encounters in the various areas he explores. The work is a glimmer of light capturing a world unknown, a world of beauty and gripping terror, blue rivers, a place in the sun; simply, the Gente de Chiapas.

Chiapas Mexico 2006.