Throughout history artists have found nature to be an abundant source of nourishment, pleasure and inspiration. From the Renaissance to Impressionism, the environment has been used to express everything from emotion to evolution. Elements of the natural world have been elevated to sentient beings, having the ability to both corrupt and empower. While many emerging talents are seeking inspiration from rare and bizarre subcultures, Photographer Carlota Guerrero has put nature at the centre of her practice in a powerful and relevant new way.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding rising star Carlota Guerrero. A photographic enigma, she appeared out of nowhere after creating visuals for one of the most celebrated albums of 2016, Solange’s A Seat at the Table. Prior to Solange she led a quiet life in her native Barcelona developing her photographic practice.
Self-taught, she describes her work as ‘therapy’, allowing her to carve a perfect reality. At thirteen, she picked up a camera and spent the next decade honing her craft through peer learning, coming of age in a female-centric, creative community. This rooted her practice in feminism and the female condition, focusing on ideas around identity, empowerment, healing and independence.
Carlota’s background in performance plays a significant role in her visual language. Sculptural compositions and clever, conceptual motifs emphasize the strength and solidarity of women. While her understated aesthetic pays tribute to her spiritual connection to nature, through a combination of soft light, natural colour palettes and an otherworldly glow created through deliberate overexposure. Her work feels inherently open and intimate while distilling a sense of peace and calm for the viewer.
Below: Solange Knowles – Cranes in the sky, Creative Direction by Carlota Guerrero
In 2016, Solange Knowles discovered Carlota’s work via Instagram. They successfully collaborated on a performative dance piece for the Tate Modern, before co-directing the creative for Solange’s new album. The month of August was spent working together on the road, driving between New Orleans and New Mexico, shooting daily. The project culminated in two music videos, album artwork and a 112-page digital book which celebrates blackness and creativity.
In her most recent work, she explored the world of ecosexuals for Perdiz magazine. Blending activism and sensuality, ecosexuals are focused on creating a more mutual and sustainable relationship to the planet. Carlota fuses natural textures and erotic sculptures to engage the senses in this weird and wonderful visual essay
Despite her overnight rise to fame, Carlota has managed to sustain her practice and way of life. Her unique blend of feminism, nature and performance creates work that is both subversive and ethereal. With her clear and unique point of view, an instantly recognizable aesthetic and lots of new work in the pipeline, I’m excited to see where she takes us next.