Germán Gómez—Diary Portraits

Showing April 4 – 28

Bridgette Mayer Gallery

by Isabel Oliveres

In Germán Gómez—Diary Portraits, this prominent Spanish photographer inverts the traditional notion of portraiture; the focus of the portrait is the man behind the lens. Gómez layers images of close family and friends to explore the construction of his own identity. As a viewer, you can feel the emotional intensity underlying in the work.

Estudio para Nacho, de la serie Del Susurro al Grito is a three dimensional account of 5 anguish-ridden portraits of the same man. His clenched jaw and screaming face are made of cut-up and crumpled photographs, stitched together in a way that seems to pop out of the frame. In Dibujado VII he presents a striking life-sized portrait of a man, pieces of whom have been deconstructed and then stitched back onto his body. Rivets hold in place a paper shadow, which appears outlined by a pencil drawn aura.

The work suggests the complex way in which the self is constructed: the “reality” of the photograph reflects how others view you; while the paper and sketches are the  introspective soul—the two components are sewn together to form the individual.  Germán Gómez deciphers himself through the de- and reconstruction of those close to him.


Isa Oliveres was born and raised in Mexico City, though she currently lives in Philadelphia where she studies English and History.