Tour of Aperture


During our last class trip, we visited the Highline and Aperture Foundation Gallery. Aperture was founded in 1952 by those who shared the strong common interest of photogrpahy.  Aperture is a foundation which focuses on connecting with audiences in the photo community. When you first enter the gallery, you see not only a number of a photographs but also a number books and magazines. Aperture also has many books and magazines that advertise the photos shown in the exhibit. Aperture contains a wide variety of photographs, taken by photographer Alex Webbs, portraying different perspectives of Mexico. Each photograph tells its own story giving an insight of a persons everyday life in Mexico. When you first walk into the Gallery you can see the variety of colors being used on the walls to show the different emotions being shown in each photo.  Alex Webb’s was born in San Francisco but raised in New England. As a photographer he not only captures a great moment in his photos but also helps the audience connect with the people being captured. Because of his strong style of photography he was awarded with many awards that led him to become the well known photographer he is today.

While exploring the exhibit, a photograph that really caught my attention was ” Naco, Sonora, 1999.” In this photograph you see a young Mexican boy leaving his stuffed giraffe teddy bear behind and running to something in the distance. When I first saw this photo the message was not as clear as it is to me now. What first stuck out to me was the stuffed giraffe on the floor which then led to the emotion on the little boys face. It looks as though the boy has left his teddy bear on the ground and ran away because he has seen something better. I first thought that he was sad because he had lost it, but that was not the case. As you get more in depth and start  to think deeper about the photo, you begin to see the setting this photo was taken in. Webb’s, captured this photo in a poor neighborhood with not much around it. He wanted to focus more on the little boy and have the photograph tell the story its self. The way the boy is walking with hands might show that he walking to someone or something that has caught his attention. Although some might say this is not his best picture, to me, this photo was different from all the others. Each photo has a story that is easy to figure out but, this photo creates a challenge. It makes you wonder what  was so interesting to make the little boy drop his toy to go catch what he was walking towards. Or the neighborhood in the background, showing an insight to the life young kids in mexico are growing up in. Webb’s decision to focus on a Mexico was a great decision. He not only discovered the life of the people of mexico but also showed us the cultures within it.

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1 Response to Tour of Aperture

  1. rmichals says:

    the photograph you selected is a very interesting one and as you say a bit different than Webb’s characteristic style of high contrast shadows and complicated compositions. Here the environment is bleak. The few buildings are dilapidated and the ground is unpaved and dusty. Nothing to speak of is growing. I interpret the giraffe as a metaphor for the illusions of childhood. It is a bright spot in the photo. It stands out very distinctly. I find the photo to be very sad. Not just for that boy but in a larger way about how kids must grow up.

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