Harvey Stein “Mexico Between Life and Death”

Dunn. Harvey Stein is an internationally renowned street photographer who photographs people all over the world. His work spans from Mexico to New York City, Italy, India and many other places. His most recent book titled “Mexico Between Life and Death” explores the idea of humanity living in a state of limbo, that we normally call “life,” prior to death. He travelled to numerous cities in Mexico throughout the course of 14 trips in 18 years to complete this thorough body of work.

During his presentation on the book at the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington DC, Stein discussed his style and the photographic techniques he uses to tell the stories in his work. He was specific about his straight forward approach towards photographing his subjects to express stark emotion. Stein likes to photograph his subject matter head on and without smiles to show the people he photographs in a natural and whole form. He uses the composition of people, shapes, 2D vs. 3D planes, and a combination of photographic techniques in his work to create images that challenge the eye. He uses film as an additional mode of genuine expression in his art.

Stein makes the point that although he travelled to Mexico for almost a decade for this series, he does not know Spanish. This did not hinder his ability to interact with his subjects, which is a preferred means of working with the people he photographs.

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