Since 1985, acclaimed photographer Phyllis Galembo has travelled extensively to document sites of ritual dress in Africa and the Caribbean. In her latest body of work, she has turned her lens to Mexico and its astounding mask cultures.
Brought together in a new book, Phyllis Galembo: Mexico, Masks & Rituals, the fascinating survey captures cultural performances with a subterranean political edge. Using her direct, unaffected portrait style, Galembo shoots her subjects informally posed but often strikingly attired in traditional or ritualistic dress.
Through these vibrant colour photographs, she highlights the artistry of the performers, how they use materials from their immediate environment to morph into a fantastical representation of themselves and an idealised vision of a mythical figure.
In a gorgeous, fascinating photographic survey of Mexico’s masking practices, Galembo captures her subjects suspended between past, present and future, with their religious, political and cultural affiliations—their personal and collective identifications—displayed on their bodies.