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Gustavo Castilla

SFR Picks: Birthday Suit Bold

Two artists aim for empowerment

November 2, 2016, 12:00 am

For Anna Yarrow, the upcoming show ANNA—a namesake for the artist, but also a reference to the Arabic word anna, which means “I am”— is about empowerment. The 37-year-old is an artist-in-residence at El Zaguán, and created the exhibition of tintype and ambrotype photographs with Gustavo Castilla as part of her residency. “I feel like it’s a positive statement,” says Yarrow of the exhibit. “It may be shocking for some people, but I think it’s beautiful.”

The shock factor is that most of the images feature Yarrow in the nude. She focuses on nudity as a medium of expression because of her past experiences living in the Sultanate of Oman. Yarrow tells SFR that living the covered life required in Muslim culture wasn’t for her.

“Even when I would go to the beach, I love to swim in the ocean and I would swim fully clothed,” she recalls. “Moving back to the States has been an exploration of allowing myself to be a body and a woman and allow myself to be seen.”

Castilla, on the other hand, says he got into the extremely difficult craft of tintype photography because he didn’t have much of a choice. “Back in the late ’90s, the companies that produced film starting pulling back and things were out of stock. So I thought, well, if they don’t want to sell it to me, I’ll make my own.”

And this particular type of photography is no easy task. The plate is exposed at the moment the shutter opens, and must be developed immediately. “Everywhere you go with this stuff, you have to bring the darkroom with you,” Castilla says. But his craft is a double-sided coin; that which makes it so difficult is also what makes it incomparably special. Tintype photography is a one-shot chance. “Every time you expose a plate in the camera, it is just that one image [and] even if you go back and immediately prepare another plate, the light has changed; the person’s mood has changed,” Castilla tells SFR. “The painter has the great advantage of editing their vision as they are putting it on canvas, whereas a photographer, you really have to pick that right time when everything comes together.” (Maria Egolf-Romero)

Anna Opening Reception
5-7 pm Friday Nov. 4. Free.
El Zaguán,
545 Canyon Road,

Strung Out

Faith Lucille
Normally we’d steer clear of an artist like Razzvio (her real name is Lauren Palumbi) and her Evanesence-y pop-rock/metal-lite hybrid sound. But her use of a fretted six-string violin known as the Viper leans more toward a band like Apocalyptica than mainstream radio rock, so we’ll give her and her producer/drummer Kevin Proctor a chance. Razz is Suzuki-trained and has built on a strong classical foundation since she was 7 years old but, she says, “I got bored of classical, frankly—I found the concert-going experience of classical music wasn’t as energetic as rock.” Hence, she takes old-school mechanics and loops ‘em live with Proctor rock-and-effing-roll style. Word to that, Razz. (Alex De Vore)

8 pm Wednesday Nov 2. Free.
530 S Guadalupe St.,

The Price Is Nice

Courtesy NMSA
Opportunities to purchase original artwork for $99 are few and far between—but at Birch, a one-night art show featuring works by local artists and students from New Mexico School for the Arts, it’s a reality. Every piece is created on a 10-inch square of birch wood. “This is the fourth iteration of the show,” says Karina Hean, visual arts chair and instructor at NMSA. Proceeds from the show go directly to the local high school, benefitting the visual arts department. Hean says the learning environment at NMSA is like no other. “The students are malleable, creative and brave, so what we end up doing always surpasses what you might expect.” (MER)

5 pm Saturday Nov. 5. Free.
The Fine Arts Gallery at Santa Fe University of Art and Design,
1600 St. Michael’s Drive,

State of the Union

Courtesy Fresh Santa Fe
Up-and-coming art space Fresh Santa Fe gets in the political game with its new show, 50 plus (+) or minus (-), a large-scale representation of the US that invites guests to interact by writing out what they believe needs to happen on the states themselves. “I think it’s out of some sense of resistance or outrage at what goes on in the presidential campaigns,” creator/designer Gregory Waits says. “It’s a way for people to maybe impact change instead of just complaining.” The show is up now, but a special event with live music goes down at 6 pm on election night and Waits envisions a potential book born of the process. (ADV)

50 plus (+) or minus (-):
9 am-9 pm Tuesday Nov. 8. $10.
Fresh Santa Fe,
2855 Cooks Road, Studio A,


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