12 August 2010

Silent words of Saints: The work of Luis Carlos Bernal





The work of Luis Carlos Bernal speaks of old dust; still in an abandoned house or wild on the wind of some dusty road between the middle lands of the us/mexico border. Pool halls, old vatos when they were young; family and the silent words of saints speaking from pools of light. Luis listened with his camera and his heart.

I remember meeting him with my family when I was a kid. Kind face and smiling BIG. His book sits on my table in the Casa Azul where I look at his photo everyday. Sometimes I have coffee with the people in between the pages and wonder what he felt; what compelled him to document; He made a funny series of contemporary AZTEC warriors doing the suburb thing.

At the show opening we talk about photographers looking at the border issues.
To revisit Bernal's work inspires me to continue to do what I am doing.
One day when I was doubting myself my dad wrote me and sent me a set of images he had just made in jpgs; it simply said, "This is what we do." We make pictures. It's our work; and best of all is when people get to look at it and connect with the image that is larger than just the lens that caught it. Maybe it is like silent prayers; it's an act of alchemy even in the digital age. Something can transmute between a piece of paper and the soul of us touched by the play of shadow and light.

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