In Conversation With Floria Gonzalez

(This text was originally published at The International Museum of Women, December 2012)

In November, I met Floria Gonzalez in New York for the occasion of Pinta, The Latin American Art Show, where her works were exhibited. I immediately fell in love with the images, so delicate, feminine, and tender are her photos. At first glance, they capture you in a purely colorful and pretty way, but if you get closer and read into them, you are gradually immersed in a double and dark world… the secret world of Floria Gonzalez.

Floria grew up on the border between Mexico and Texas. She studied photography and cinematography and divides her life between the two arts. New York was cold, so we ended up in a bar warming up with a cup of tea and talking about art.

FC: How much does your Country influence your works?

FG: It does of course, but travelling inspires me as well, because you dare more and can take pictures that have to do with other cultures and you can expand your vision.

FC: You are one of the few contemporary female artists that does not use her body to make art. Nowadays it is almost a fashion, there is an overexposure of the female artist’s body, you on the contrary use other faces, other people, you like more staying on the other side, you like more to observe… Isn’t it?

FG: Yes, most of what I do is about me, because it speaks of me but I am more observing what is going on with the human being.

FC: You said you like reading and the cinema. There are some directors or writers that inspire you?

FG: Yes, of course. For some reasons Japanese culture gives me a lot. I love their art that is much “inside” introspective and I identify myself a lot with that, because I am like that and it is also what I do. In fact, some pieces take some moments of H. Muramaki and B. Yoshimoto’s books. When I was younger I loved the horror cine. I think some of the ’80 horror cine’s aesthetics is evident in my works. Later I discovered another kind of horror cine, more psychological like the one of D. Lynch and A. Hitchcock, I found this way of making movies more realistic and richer in content than the 80’s, but probably the latter was only an extension of the former. I believe that Lynch’s aesthetic influenced me a lot.

FC: But your artworks seems far from horror.

FG: Yes, I know, but I like to play as well with the psychology and with the idea of the good and the bad. I always try to play with light and smoke giving the piece a kind of theatrical atmosphere, like my series To Fall. I like to make work nice outside, delicate for the viewer, but with a deep and dark meaning if you look at it properly and deeply.

FC: Do you want to transmit any kind of message through your art or you want to only express your interior world?

FG: No, really I do not think about anything, I only do what comes inside of me.

FC: In the series SMOTHER there are some images of children which I found really interesting. Would you tell me something about it?

FG: Childhood is the moment in life in which we are still innocent, in which every single act can hurt us and can leave a mark on us for the rest of our life. Adults are responsible for the growth and there are some kinds of violence that can mark a child forever. For instance in Lourdes the baby is strong, she will face her life although something is going on in her life. On the contrary, in Maria you can notice on her arm there is a mark, with which I wanted to emphasize that she lost her innocence forever and her life will never be the same again.

FC: In the series SMOTHER there are some images of children which I found really interesting. Would you tell me something about it?

FG: Childhood is the moment in life in which we are still innocent, in which every single act can hurt us and can leave a mark on us for the rest of our life. Adults are responsible for the growth and there are some kinds of violence that can mark a child forever. For instance in Lourdes the baby is strong, she will face her life although something is going on in her life. On the contrary, in Maria you can notice on her arm there is a mark, with which I wanted to emphasize that she lost her innocence forever and her life will never be the same again.

FC: How do you feel more realized as a photographer or video maker? What do you feel you are more?

FG: It is different, because with video there are so many people I work with. I am surrounded by people. With the photography, I instead work with maximum 2 people and it is more intimate, and what I am actually looking for in this moment is to work on my own. That is why I am thinking of developing this technique on cotton paper and I will work alone.

FC: Completely alone? Without any protagonist?

FG: Yes, I am going to account the story of the landscapes. I am going out of the studio, I feel I need it. I need air. I need Nature.

FC: Do you define yourself a photographer or an artist?

FG: An artist. I would not like to be labelled in a category. I am also looking for other media to express myself.

Floria Gonzalez currently lives and works in Mexico City and San Antonio, Texas.

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