Te Amo

San Francisco: La Chancleta Voladora, 2023.
Condition: As New with wrapping paper
1st Edition
9x13 in

Throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, the fotonovela deeply marked Latin American society, especially in Mexico where it was a cultural product of popular mass production, import and export. Many of the stories -written by both men and women- depicted in the fotonovelas have a conservative catholic, patriarchal, macho, classist and sexist structure, charged with immense intensity. Hate, passionate and forbidden love, adultery, envy, revenge, fantasy, and explorations of social class and stereotypes are just some of the common themes. The influence of the fotonovela was multigenerational, carrying fragments of its impact to the present. Today we question the origin of these themes, and in the photo stories lies part of the answer.
In the fotonovela narrative, there is no complex plot. It begins candidly, the arguments are presented -almost always related to love or falling in love- and then a drama ensues, arising from jealousy, betrayal, or some other overflowing emotional manifestation. It navigates between tragedies involving crime, drugs, infidelity, generalized violence, physical and psychological abuse, and ultimately leads to a tragic (death or exile) or happy (wedding or kiss) ending. In turn, there are multiple layers through which the characters evolve and transform without a strict framework. In fact, the less rigid, the more effective it will be. Above all, it steers the reader towards concrete and conclusive sentiments: I love you, I hate you, you are mine, I’ll leave you, I’ll hit you, I’m sorry, forgive me, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill myself, we are happy, we are unhappy, life is hard, life is beautiful.
The aggressive, often violent dialogues and actions in a fotonovela tend to go unnoticed due to the use of hypersexualized photographic representations of the female body, almost always dramatic and misogynistic, generating a perhaps intentional distraction from the core of the story. Although there has been a positive evolution in society to eradicate these harmful actions, unfortunately, they still exist both subtly and also very directly in the media, advertising, and social media fields.
Through the appropriation of images from these fotonovelas, along with photographs I made in Mexico and other places in Latin America, my idea is to reformulate the texts together with the montages, so that they function as spaces for doubt, and for viewers to reflect on the scenarios shown, in a way free of prejudices.
“Te Amo” takes what a certain artistic field avoids, but which is latent and current in our behaviors, and invites us to think and contribute to a healthy discussion and exchange of ideas. It is not a fotonovela made classically with its own expected structures. Instead, it is a broad proposal where I invite reflection through irony, dark humor, and sarcasm, -all with sufficient seriousness- opening a door to a parallel world where the tragic setting of the novela and the human drama is linked to the way in which we live out relationships and love, intermingled in a single vision. My intention, personally and as an artist, is to subtly suggest opening one’s gaze and perspective, without providing an explicit lesson.
Item #25391

Price: $60.00

Te Amo. Luis Cobelo.
Te Amo. Luis Cobelo.
Te Amo. Luis Cobelo.
Te Amo. Luis Cobelo.