Artists, for all their creativity and projections of impulsiveness, can be persistently precious about their work, choosing to be meticulously disciplined and obsessive about the perfection of their output. Elizabeth de la Piedra on the other hand, makes no such qualms about the preciousness of her photography. The images she produces are self-admittedly raw and full of reckless abandon, and the photographer herself is very present not only in the flawed composition, but also in the intensely personal and honest subject matter. But despite these imperfections, or perhaps because of them, her work is exceptionally beautiful.
Her use of colour, the sincerity in the images, and the ever-present sense of nostalgia… all of these components are executed fearlessly in her work. And most of all, Elizabeth has fun with her pictures, which means we are able to do the very same.
The potency of the images lies in her ability to tell things as they are, to reveal truths about society and culture and to restrain from sugar coating the messy bits of life – something which is done far too often. Life isn’t perfect; and Elizabeth’s photography is truly a reflection of this sentiment.
Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr have caused us (or perhaps merely allowed us) to become inquisitive beings, sometimes verging on stalkerish, but always at least a little bit curious about the lives of others. Elizabeth’s photos are very much in this vain, as more than anything they are a window onto her own life and the family and friends around her. Somehow she manages to create images that are so meaningful to her life, yet so universal and familiar that we can all relate to them ourselves. It’s an enviable skill.
Elizabeth spoke to us about the reason she loves old family photos, her endless travels and why she avoids tourist snaps at all costs, and her upcoming project that centres on her 21 first female cousins (on her father’s side alone!).