The Secret Garden of Lily Palma / Maggie Steber
© Maggie Steber
Moderated by Half King Photo Series Curator Anna Van Lenten
The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma is a series of photographs made about the dark side of me that I have, as of late, begun to re-explore. Without meaning to make them so, these photographs reveal my fears and private memories, wrapped up, not always neatly, in my life. The photographs are done spur of the moment. I go from the gut; and the imperfection of these spontaneous moments reflects what I’m after. The photographs document an interior landscape--my subconscious and imagination, often posing as something recognized only by me.
I have let loose a part of me, joyously rebelling against the tyranny of the documentary photography that has described me for decades and how I am perceived as an artist. I call on all the things I loved growing up: mysteries, grade B horror films, science fiction, the noir, and sensuous forbidden ideas. I watched Hitchcock, Tarentino, Godard, Fellini, Bunuel and Antonioni, read Shakespeare and Eduardo Galeano and Dante’s Inferno, anything that smacked of the surreal, mystery, intrigue, beauty, danger, and outer space. All these ideas have convened and landed me here in the Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma.
~ Maggie Steber
MAGGIE STEBER is an internationally known documentary photographer, educator and photo editor whose work has appeared in major magazines, newspapers and book anthologies as well as national and international exhibitions. She has worked in 67 countries specializing in telling the stories of underrepresented people. Best known for her photo essays in National Geographic magazine and her humanistic documentation of Haiti, she published Dancing on Fire: Photographs from Haiti with Aperture. Steber has worked as a picture editor for Associated Press, a contract photographer for Newsweek, and as the Director of Photography at The Miami Herald.
Her work is included in the Library of Congress. Grants and numerous awards include: a 2017-2018 Guggenheim, a 2007 Knight Foundation grant to design prototype for New American Newspaper and website, and a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Miami Herald coverage of Elian Gonzalez story, first prize Spot News World Press Photo Foundation for Haiti, the Leica Medal of Excellence, first prize Magazine News/Documentary NPPA PICTURES OF THE YEAR and recipient of grants from Alicia Patterson Foundation and Ernst Haas Photography.