Distanz Press just released Janet Sternburg’s compelling new book
— Wim Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, author, and photographer
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, December 7, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — Janet Sternburg, an award-winning artist known for her memoirs and evocative photography, shares her deep connection with Mexico through her newest publication. Forbes has praised her diverse artistic abilities, describing her as a poet, photographer, and scholar with sensitivity, precision, and intelligence. Renowned as an accomplished memoirist, Sternburg’s previous work, “White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine,” was recognized by Publishers Weekly as one of the “Big Indie Books of Fall.” In her latest work, Sternburg blends her photography and writing to craft a narrative that seeks to view Mexico without presuming to comprehend it from a foreigner’s perspective.
After falling in love with Mexico twenty-three years ago, Sternburg made the decision to permanently relocate there in 2022, to the same city, San Miguel de Allende, where she began to take photographs, now bringing a fresh perspective to her artistic endeavors. She asked herself, “How can I make a book of photographs that isn’t only a gringo’s way of looking at Mexico?” The question is answered in her newest book, “Looking at Mexico / Mexico Looks Back,” which offers a collection of visually stunning photographs complemented by an intriguing conversation between two people: Sternburg, originally from the United States culture, and José Alberto Romano Romero, a native of Mexico.
This groundbreaking bilingual collaboration in photography and words across the Mexican/USA border takes readers on a journey of transformation and understanding. Originally Sternburg’s physical therapist, Romero saw Sternburg’s images on the wall of her studio. He brought an eye-opening perspective to her visuals born from his own experiences. Sternburg asked him to collaborate on this book, giving rise to a series of narratives that accompany her photographs, deepening the resonance of the images and revealing a story of reciprocal understanding and shared humanity.
The book interweaves between the keenly observed and the deeply personal, balancing the exploration of universal themes with a particular focus on the multidimensional realities of Mexican life. It is as much an exploration of Sternburg’s relationship with photography and her surroundings, as it is a celebration of the layers of culture, history, and personal stories that Mexico holds.
Unlike many contemporary artists, Janet refuses to employ techniques that alter her images, setting her apart as a true original in a world dominated by digital manipulation. She explains, “My work is about revealing a layered world of complexity and wonder. I use low-tech cameras because they give me what I want. I do not use manipulation.” By embracing the expertise of her discerning eye, viewers are granted an authentic and captivating experience that reveals the beauty of her subject matter.
Amidst the complexities of our globalized world, the themes of cross-cultural communication, exploration, and understanding tackled within Janet’s work hold paramount significance. Her artistic vision provides a timely and poignant perspective that transcends boundaries and fosters a sense of unity. “Looking at Mexico / Mexico Looks Back” is a testament to the power of photography as a vehicle for cultural exchange, dialogue, and understanding.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Janet Sternburg is a writer of memoirs, essays, poetry, and plays, as well as a fine art photographer. Her literary books include two memoirs, “White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine” (Hawthorne Books) and “Phantom Limb: A Meditation on Memory” (University of Nebraska Press) as well as the classic two volumes of “The Writer on Her Work” (W.W. Norton) described by Poets & Writers as “groundbreaking…a landmark,” and “Optic Nerve: Photopoems” (Red Hen Press). In addition, she has published two previous monographs from Distanz Verlag: “Overspilling World: The Photographs of Janet Sternburg” with a foreword by Wim Wenders, and “I’ve Been Walking: Janet Sternburg, Los Angeles Photographs.”
She is the recipient of the REDCAT AWARD, given to “individuals who exemplify the creativity and talent that define and lead the evolution of contemporary culture.”
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Looking at Mexico / Mexico Looks Back” provides a unique perspective on Mexico through photography and writing. German art press Distanz Verlag, winner of the German Publishing Award for two consecutive years, recently released the book.