Artist text

Photographer Gaal Discovers Guadalajara's Identity
Gaal Domingo Cohen, a man with snow-white hair and turquoise tinged eyes, was born 60 years ago in a camera shop located on Rue du medi (mid-day street) in Paris, France. His parents made their living selling cameras. So it was not surprising that Gaal's toys were Nikkon, Cannon, Leica, Konica and Olympus cameras.

"All my life I've been close to photography. Instead of playing soccer, I was the team photographer and, as you can see, the camera is always by my side," he says, pointing to his Leica digital camera hanging from his pants belt.

On the evening of December 8 in Guadalajara, Gaal was announced as the winner of the Second Biennial of Photography Studio 3.14 For a Plural Metropolitan Vision, a competition that invited artists to photograph the city of Guadalajara, to talk about what we are and what our city means to us and to answer the question: What is it like and who creates the image of our metropolis?

The competition featured 260 photographers who captured the city and whose work collected over 700 photographs that are already included in the high-resolution digital cultural archive of the documentation center housed in the Museo de la Ciudad, while the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) will place these photographs in its library system to take into account everything that comprises our identity.

Gaal, with his kindly 60-year-old face, was very surprised when Mito Covarrubias, a member of the jury, presented him with the Armando Salas Portugal Prize and 20 thousand pesos (sponsored by CitiCapital through Plaza GalerĂ­as) in the courtyard of the Museo de la Ciudad.

For Gaal, this competition organized by Studio 3:14, "is extraordinary because it is through photography, which is an art form, that future generations will be able to see the city at this time."

Gaal admits to being delighted by Guadalajara's urban appearance. For this reason, his award-winning photographs depicted architectural elements of well-known neighborhoods and streets but captured from another point of view.

Adriana Navarro
El Informador
Guadalajara, Jalisco
December 9, 2011