BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
PHOTOGRAPHER GASPAR MARQUEZ’S JOURNEY THROUGH GLAMOUR, MYSTERY, AND VIVID DREAMS
The model, a blonde woman with a pixie cut, stands on a rock, wearing a red leather jacket. Behind and all around her is the desert. The cactus by her side is her witness. The bright blue sky, cloudless, spread above her and perfects the composition of the picture. A splendid day. This is one of the covers of S Magazine. Founded in 2005, S Magazine publishes independent content that pushes boundaries and challenges the values of fashion, love, and culture. The photographer of the cover was Gaspar Marquez. It wasn’t Gaspar’s first magazine assignment. The Mexico-born award-winning photographer is a master of editorial photography, specializing in fashion, beauty, boudoir, and glamour. He has shot for big names including VICE Magazine, Juxtapoz, Las Vegas Weekly Newspaper, NAKID Magazine, or Resource magazine, among many other. You most likely have laid an eye on his work in those publications but his portfolio is fairly impressive: over 25 of them, located all around the world. What is it like to see the world through Gaspar Marquez’s eyes? We asked him a few questions and were mesmerized by his raw curiosity, high energy, and refined taste.
As children, we first learn to explore the world through our senses. For Gaspar, as a child, seeing was very important. He was very much into drawing and cartoons and remembered being fascinated by Expressionism, Cubism, or Surrealism. As a teen, he wanted to be a rock star and even bought a guitar. But in his twenties, he had a brain wave: photography had always been another passion of his, he picked up a camera and became what he describes as a “self-taught photographer”. However, Gaspar did receive extensive training at prestigious schools such as The School of The International Center of Photography and The School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he resides today. Prior to that, he had also received a B.A. in Business Administration in Mexico, where he is from. Gaspar remembers his darkroom days where he had to wait for days before he could see the result of his work. Now his workflow is very different. He states that clients often want “Instant gratification.” “They demand results in the next few days or so. Technology is something I had to adapt fast to or sink to the bottom of the ocean’’. The constant growth of technology and the competitive market represent challenges to Gaspar and his peers, however, he is excited to push himself to adapt and further his craft constantly: “Just be honest with yourself and create work that is truly you, I want to make you feel, feel anything as long as you feel it”.
Sunny Day (2016). Part of the series Bodyscapes. Photography. 40 x 42 inches
Today Gaspar works for a wide range of clients and projects. However, the red thread behind them is his dedication to what he calls “The female form” — the female body. It is the source of his inspiration. His glamour and erotic photographs have caught the eyes of many institutions such as Graphis Inc. In 2021 he received Graphis Silver Award 2021 and in 2019 Graphis Gold and Silver Award 2019 as well as the Honorable Mention Vienna International Photo Awards. Gaspar has also achieved some pretty incredible things; while they might have been on other photographers’ bucket lists, Gaspar can proudly cross them off. The Miss Universe competition is one of them — he shot the event in 2019 and 2020. He was also the photographer of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival at the Tribeca Film Center and also added to his client list Arcos Communications and Latino Commission on AIDS. Today Gaspar is represented by Lyons Wier Gallery and Leigh Wen Fine Art in New York City.
Gaspar’s work is sensual and poetic, playing with light, shadows, and composition; it is playful, edgy, and eerie at the same time. When we asked him about his favorite exhibition shows, he mentioned “The Future is NAKID” at InnerSpace in Los Angeles. Gaspar is a regular contributor to NAKID, the online photography magazine. The first-ever photography exhibition organized by the magazine, Gaspar was invited to showcase his work. Over 700+ art aficionados flocked to the event, with another 150 art lovers standing in line outside. Gaspar and the other photographers invited created “an atmosphere of sensual stimulation and inspiration” as described by the organizers.
Rock & Roll Girl (2021). Editorial Photography. 12 1/2 x 18 inches
While Gaspar often finds root in human and female sensuality, and beauty shots, it is also a reflection of the world he lives in. Another photography show of his, “IMMIGRATION IS THE NATION” at the Cargo Project Gallery in NYC, presented work from foreign-born artists. Gaspar was one of the photographers invited to lend his voice to the artistic patchwork presented by the gallery. Gaspar’s work is at the crossroads between the political and the intimate. It both transcends and serves an artistic purpose: a poetic representation of the sensuality of a bedroom and a bed filled with red light, a representation of society through his eyes, Gaspar captures everything. Maybe it is because of its universality that his work has been showcased all over the world: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Arizona, New York, Somerville, and his home country of Mexico.
Gaspar remains humble through it all and also, we must say, very practical. He encourages aspiring photographers to get a mentor and take financial planning as well as business classes. “A good diet and good sleep routine” also matters, he explains. For someone who creates such dreamlike and airy images, Gaspar is really down to earth. For the future, he has added to his goal list to work for advertising agencies and publish a book. At the end of the day, his wish is to elevate his spirit to a higher form of creativity as he explains poetically. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for him — his images might float graciously somewhere high in the sky, or they might be solidly anchored in our world, we will be bedazzled no matter what.