bration of the mesmerizing power of the spirit made flesh.
Self-taught photographer Carlota Guerrero burst upon the world stage in 2016 when she collaborated with singer Solange Knowles on the iconic album art and videos for A Seat at the Table, a project that showcased her ability to blend classical and radical aesthetics into ethereal scenes of spiritual transcendence. Now 30, the Barcelona-based artist introduces her first book, Tengo un Dragón Dentro del Corazón: The Photographs of Carlota Guerrero (Prestel), a collection of spellbinding images made over the past decade exploring ideas of gender, nature, beauty, fashion, performance, and art in kaleidoscopic visions of the Divine Feminine.
Casting a wide array of sumptuous subjects who embody the infinite splendor of the female form, Guerrero combines art, photography, performance, beauty, and glamour into a glorious celebration of the spirit made flesh. Whether working in her studio to stage intricate scene, or taking her army of women warriors to the street where their partial nudity challenges patriarchal notions of propriety, Guerrero’s majestic imagery subverts traditional notions of the gender while simultaneously asserting the power of freedom, personal agency, and self-expression.
“Carlota’s work is the antidote to our male-gaze problem,” poet, artist, and performer Rupi Kaur writes in the book. “In an industry dominated by men shooting women’s bodies, Carlota’s vision is refreshing. As a woman, I’m not interested in looking at my body through the eyes of a man anymore. I’ve done that my whole life. I want to see and be shot by a woman whose images are celebrative, not exploitative. Sexy, not voyeuristic. In a world where the feminine is violated, the femininity that Carlota captures is honest and empowering.”
Art as a Tool of Healing
Guerrero was drawn to photography as a teenager, the medium becoming the means to create compositions that reveal themselves, and compel her to explore the miraculous nature of femininity. Using a muted palette of sumptuous pastels, Guerrero traces a map of rhythmic patterns that unfold like fractals that burst forth.
“There are certain threads that connect all of humanity,” Guerrero writes in the book. “When I bring women together in one place and photograph them, I am creating new organisms, a surreal projection of my mind, an invented, new animal composed of the bodies which feeds back into itself, as if each woman were an organ or a cell that, by joining the others, makes up a whole being.”
With Tengo un Dragón Dentro del Corazón, Guerrero takes us inside a wondrous world where the feminine reigns supreme. Whether documenting the transgender community in Cuba, staging a 30-person performance at Art Basel in Miami Beach, photographing feminist icons like Emilia Clarke, or recreating The Dance by Matisse, Guerrero uses art as a tool for healing to create an inclusive space for communion and liberation. With her work, Guerrero makes it clear that the future is female — and the future is now.
By Miss Rosen
Miss Rosen is a New York-based writer focusing on art, photography, and culture. Her work has been published in books, magazines, including Time, Vogue, Aperture, and Vice, among others.
Tengo un Dragón Dentro del Corazón: The Photographs of Carlota Guerrero, Published by Prestel, $50.00. Available here.