"Palometas, Iquitos, Peru" by Javier Silva Meinel

"Palometas, Iquitos, Peru" by Javier Silva Meinel
"Palometas, Iquitos, Peru" by Javier Silva Meinel

"Palometas, Iquitos, Peru" by Javier Silva Meinel


Javier Silva Meinel (Peruvian, 1949– )

Palometas, Iquitos, Peru, 7/25 edition, 2003

General Comments:
This black-and-white “portraiture-style” photo, with its dramatic pose and mysterious prop, forms just one part of a body of work which explores the people of the rainforests of the Amazonian Basin where native communities still follow an ancient vision and adhere to customs and traditions that defy the parameters of our western world view. 

As a restless spirit and indefatigable traveller, Silva has journeyed down the intricate roads of his country to remote areas, always opting to concentrate on the inhabitants of those unchartered lands giving us a sense of the ungraspable face of the Amazon. 

Tom Hinson, Curator of Photography at The Cleveland Museum of Art, said of a body of Meinel’s work in 2001, two years before this image was taken: 

“These are compelling, timeless portraits that rise beyond exoticism and embody the spirituality and cultural richness of Peru’s indigenous people. He transforms them into spiritual and cultural icons.” – clearly these comments are rightly echoed two years later in this work by the artist. 

Javier Silva Meinel, born in 1949 in Lima, Peru started working as a photographer in 1973. He was one of the founding members of Secuencia Fotogaleria and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990 for his work about Andean ritual practices featured in Il Libro de los Encantados (1993). He published the book Acho, altar de arena (1993), about bullfighting backstage of Lima. He has had solo shows in New York and Europe, Secuencia Fotogaleria in Lima, Centro Cultural de la Municipalidad de Mira flores, as well as group exhibitions including “A Spiritual Journey” at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (1996), and “The Peruvians” at Fotofest, Houston (1990), and at The Cleveland Museum of Art (2001) as well as all over the world. Mr. Silva lives and works as a photographer in Lima.