By Katelynn Dunn
Harvey Stein is an internationally renowned street photographer. His work spans Mexico to the United States, Italy, India and many other places. His most recent book titled “Mexico Between Life and Death” explores the idea of a culture living in a state of limbo. He travelled to numerous cities throughout the course of 14 trips in 18 years to complete this thorough body of work.
During his presentation at the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington DC, Stein discussed his particular style and the photographic techniques that he uses to tell stories in his work. He was specific about his straight forward approach towards photographing his subjects to express stark emotion. Stein photographs people head on and without smiles to present a natural and whole form of humanity, without filter. He uses compositional elements, the placement of people, shapes, and 2D vs. 3D planes to create images that challenge the eye. Additionally, his use of film provides another layer of genuine expression in his art.
Stein made the point that although he travelled to Mexico for almost a decade for this series, he does not know Spanish. This did not hinder his ability to interact with his subjects.