ON VIEW MARCH 8 – APRIL 13, 2024: French artist Delphine Blast pays tribute to the indigenous women of Latin America in her show at Koslov Larsen.
“Mujeres: The Beat of a Wing” combines three of the artist’s series. “Flowers of the Isthmus” follows the Zapotec women of Tehuantepec. “Cholitas” features the Bolivian cholitas of the plains of the Altiplano. And, her “Dancing Flare” series showcases the bright and colorful spirit of the folklórico dancers of Querétaro, Mexico.
In her “Flowers of the Isthmus” series, the traditional dress of the Zapotec women is paired alongside bright backgrounds and oil cloth frames. The works celebrate the intricate and diverse ways in which traditional garments are worn by a new generation of women dedicated to proudly preserving their histories and cultural artifacts. Vibrant and almost sculptural, the intricate garments have inspired many artists over the years, including Frida Kahlo.
Her “Cholitas” series follows the style of dress worn by the indigenous Aymara peoples of modern-day Bolivia. Posed in front of traditional fabrications, the rounded compositions encase and bring attention to the movement qualities of the dresses and shawls. Blast emphasizes an intent to “highlight the cholitas’ very special outfits, inspired by Andean traditions, but above all to reveal their femininity, elegance, and dignity.”
In her “Dancing Flare” series, the dancers of Querétaro, Mexico move energetically and dizzyingly throughout the images. Accentuated by longer exposures, the layered, spinning dresses linger in the air as new movements find their way into the images. Blast captures the spirit and body intertwining, celebrating the longevity of female artistic traditions in dance and costume.
Her show is presented in association with the 2024 FotoFest Biennial: Critical Geography, which reexamines traditional Western and historical understandings of geography while investigating shifting and emerging relationships with the land.
Delphine Blast is a French artist based in Paris. Portraiture occupies a central place in her photography-based work. Blast works on various social issues with a focus on women’s roles and their emancipation in changing societies. After working for many years in Latin America, she is currently expanding her practice to explore the legacies of cultural heritage across Africa. Over the years, Blast has turned toward more dimensional creations, integrating visual tools beyond straight photography into her work, thus exploring different forms of expression and life.
IMAGE: “Dancing Flare #2, Mariana” by Delphine Blast, 2019 (courtesy of Koslov Larsen)