Gaby Herbstein, 50, is a prominent Argentinean photographer and visual artist, who was recognized in Paris in 2016 for her exhibition States of Consciousness, which reflects her eclectic style and her concept of photography as a means to raise awareness.
With a spirit committed to reality, her works express her concern with issues such as ecology, HIV, and indigenous women, among others. Herbstein began her career in 1990—as a fashion photographer—and has created ad campaigns for various leading brands.
She is also known for her portraits of famous personalities of Latin American culture, such as Julio Bocca, Charly García and Elena Roger.Her exhibitions, both personal or collective, have been admired not only in Art Basel Miami Beach and the Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA), but also in many other distinguished halls in the United States, Russia, China, Japan, and Latin America, earning her several awards and rave reviews, including the Gold Medal at the 2015 Prix de la Photografie in Paris in the Fine Art category for her project States of Consciousness.
The spiritual intimacy of an artist States of Consciousness is a series of dreamlike photographs inspired by surrealism, on the different stages that make up our path to self-knowledge.
In an interview conducted in Buenos Aires, Herbstein told azureazure.com, “This exhibition is an intimate and thematic series different from my previous works.” She added that it all started when, five years ago, she experienced a break in her life, “a spontaneous spiritual opening and a previously unknown curiosity to know how the universe works beyond our senses; a need to understand the things we cannot see, touch, smell or hear. ”
Through that search, the artist explored different spiritual movements such as Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism and Sufism, going as far as the Kabbalah, where she feels “more comfortable”.
The creative genesis of “consciousness”
This intimate and spiritual encounter represented for the artist a starting point that, with the addition of new expressive tools, started opening new doors to different levels of consciousness.
The path of self-knowledge and her fascination with what she discovered prompted her to manifest her findings through her most natural means of expression: photography.
Herbstein tells us that she had the word “conscience” tattooed on her forearm as a perpetual reminder. “Consciousness means connecting” she explains, “and that’s the key to happiness: the ability to connect truly with yourself and those around us.”
The connecting thread
The artist tells us that all the works in her exhibit: 35 photographs, 70 objects and various production materials, “are connected to each other because they all represent universal realities, such as the law of cause and effect, give to receive, release, see the entire movie in a living situation, the concept of resistance, and recognition of the ego.”
A new project in gestation
As we admire States of Consciousness, we perceive the development of new edges and concerns that enrich her creativity and that perhaps will be reflected in her next show, already in gestation.
“This year, I began to analyze the topic of beauty from a philosophical point of view.” For that project, she made a series of portraits of girls and hopes to continue developing this idea from different perspectives, and always resorting to photography as a main ally—which according to Herbstein was given to her as a means of expression, for which she claims to be eternally grateful. ■