ABOUT HIS PHOTOGRAPHS
The essence of my work is to find, within the ordinary goings on of life in Guatemala, those individuals or situations, which can be seen as emblematic of our society and the human condition in Guatemala. If I have done my job well, the general public will be able to identify with these images and feel the reality behind the photograph. It is my firm belief that within these ordinary, everyday images, that not only the basis of society (in an anthropological sense) but also the greater political events, economic movements, personal tragedies and even war will be palpably reflected within these images. In this way, the body of work becomes a historical narrative, rich in visual poetry yet utterly based in real people and places.
For me, the main appeal of photography is it’s unique ability, to take in light reflected off of objects at a given moment, freeze a negative image, which when printed makes whatever object was taken, become a symbol. If I only had a very few words to sum up my philosophy of how to photograph, I would say: The more lifelike in terms of detail and the “feeling” of “being there”, the more dramatically real, the more compelling the experience, the more symbolically significant the image will be. That symbolic content is what will make one photograph stand out from the billions of disposable photos that are taken every day.
DANIEL CHAUCHE (1951)
Lives and works in Guatemala.
He studied at the University of Florida, where, in 1979, he got a Masters in Fine Arts in photography after which he taught at the University of Central Florida. He established his photo studio “The Personal Image” between 1980 and 1983. Even though he was born in the United States, he has lived most of his life in Guatemala.
He had first come to Guatemala in 1975, and at that time lived in San Juan Sacatepequez, where he came to understand and greatly appreciate the Mayan culture. He established his studio, now called Chez Daniel, in Antigua Guatemala, in 1983 and has lived there since that date. As a traveling photographer and later as a visual historian-artist, he has traveled the back roads and urban areas of Guatemala for almost 4 decades.
These decades working within these different communities in the country, weighs heavily in his ability accurately reflect the identity of the inhabitants.
At the same time, he has maintained a constant activity as a teacher of so many photographers of the current Guatemalan generation. Chauche has exhibited in the United States, Mexico and many galleries and important museums of Guatemala.
His work is in major collections: Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida; St-Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts, Florida; Tulane University, Latin American Library, New Orleans; Photography Archive of CIRMA, Antigua Guatemala; Fundación de Arte Paiz, Guatemala; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Stanford University Green Library, Stanford, California; UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library Berkeley, California; Smith College Museum of Art, Smith College.