You may recognise the work of Carlota Guerrero from various corners of the internet. She exploded onto the scene with her iconic portrait of Solange Knowles for her widely successful album A Seat at the Table in 2016.
She then went on to art direct Knowles' entire album and accompanying music videos. Her colours, aesthetic and recognisable style can be detected from the offset. You may also spot her work if you're an avid follower and/or consumer of the Barcelona clothing brand Paloma Wool. Carlota has shot the likes of Rupi Kaur, Emilia Clarke, Naomi Shimada, and countless others.
Carlota's signature style is made up of beautiful nude women of all shapes, colours, and sizes and often involves elements of performance art that is utterly captivating. And now some of her best shots are being brought together in Tengo un Dragón Dentro del Corazón – the first book of Carlota Guerrero's photography and an important record of her evolving style as well as a compilation of her visual obsessions. The title translates to 'I have a dragon in my heart'.
The book displays her early work when she was just discovering her talents and her passion for photographing women in nature; stills from a performance piece that wowed at Art Basel Miami; a collaboration with poet Rupi Kaur; pictures from her project documenting the transgender community in Cuba, and more.
In addition to Carlota's many talents – she is first and foremost a self-taught artist in her own right. She has set an aesthetic precedent, particularly across social media. Her warm tones and beautifully curated backdrops are something to behold. It is said that her work reflects a modern, progressive, and body confident vision of post-MeToo feminism. She unapologetically celebrates the female form and has placed her commitment to women at the forefront of her work. In the book, she describes as a child in school her longing to roam around naked. She touches on the guilt she felt in her desires. However, years later, Carlota's work embodies that very desire. She is no longer restricted.
Carlota brings women together in her work and establishes a common thread that links them all. The finishing product is harmonious and breathtaking. She describes this as "bringing together new organisms, a surreal projection of my mind".
The book, in fact, features 260 powerful colour photographs alongside written works by Rosalía, Rupi Kaur, Paloma Lanna, Teticia Sala, and Alejandra Smits. Rupi Kaur says of the book: "When I first saw a Carlota Guerrero image, its softness moved me. Its playfulness pulled me in. That's when I realised that playing in Carlota's world is much better than strolling through real life.
"In an industry dominated by men shooting women's bodies, Carlota's vision is refreshing. In a world where the feminine is violated, the femininity that Carlota captures is honest and empowering. I believe that Carlota Guerrero is one of the great artists of our time."
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