Luis González Palma

Weinstein Hammons Gallery

Walter Benjamin’s phrase “quiet exposure,” which he aptly used as a description of the peculiar silence that permeates nineteenth-century daguerreotype portraits, comes to mind when confronted with the sober faces pictured in the recent work of Guatemalan photographer Luis González Palma. Purposefully choosing to eschew artificial light and high-tech equipment, González Palma works with his sitters one-on-one, capturing expressions that are difficult to read but suggest contemplation, confrontation, melancholy, and sorrow.

In the recent exhibit, his signature sepia-toned, black-and-white photographs were placed alongside swatches of highly textured fabric and flatly painted geometric shapes in intricate mixed-media assemblages. Influenced by baroque altarpieces, González Palma often draws on traditional Christian iconography such as wings, skulls, and halos to address universal themes of

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