|A native of Mexico City, Flor GarduĂ±o studied visual arts at the Antigua Academia de San Carlos (UNAM). While there, she studied with Hungarian Ă©migrĂ© photographer, Kati Horna (1912-2000), who had escaped from Europe during World War II. Hornaâ€™s work, which focused on the effects of World War II on women, children, blended both straight and surrealist photography, and had a profound influence on GarduĂ±o.
Two other significant experiences shaped GarduĂ±oâ€™s style and career. The photographer left school early to work as a darkroom assistant for Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902-2002), the most influential Mexican photographer of the 20th century. In 1981, she began working for the Secretariat of Public Education. Under the direction of photographer Mariana Yampolsky(1925-2002), GarduĂ±o traveled to rural villages throughout Mexico with a team of photographers and artists seeking subjects to illustrate primary school textbooks for indigenous communities. Yampolsky who had worked with Manuel Alvarez Bravo in the 1940s, was known for the humanistic approach to Mexican culture in her photographs, which usually featured women and vernacular Mexican architecture. These experiences gave GarduĂ±o the opportunity to learn about rural Mexico, especially the plight of indigenous peoples, and helped hone her own unique style, which infused descriptive photography with mystical archetypes characteristic of Mexican Surrealism. Today she is known for her haunting images of native peoples throughout the Americas, along with her symbolic nudes and still-lifes.
GarduĂ±o had her first one-person exhibition in 1982 at the Galeria JosĂ© Clemente Orozco in Mexico City and has become a renowned photographer in the intervening years. She has published several books of her photography including, Magia del Juego Eterno (The Magic of the Eternal Game) (1985) Bestiarium (1987), and Witnesses of Time (1992). Witnesses of Time, was published in five languages six editions and became an international success with exhibitions of the photographs traveling to major museums around the world. Flor GarduĂ±o: Inner Light (2003) and most recently Trilogy (2011). Her work has been shown in galleries and museums all over the world.
Flor GarduĂ±oâ€™s work is in the permanent collections of several public institutions including: The Museum of Modern Art, NY, NY; the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ; the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico; BibliothĂ¨que National de France, Paris; Museum Ludwig, KĂ¶ln, Germany; and many other public and private collections.