Friday Fry Up: Maíra soares


In 1975, Maíra Soares’ father photographed his wife performing ordinary activities like drinking coffee while on their honeymoon. When she found the photographs, Soares did not entirely recognize the younger version of her mother depicted in them. Shortly after her mother’s death, Soares recreated the photographs by reconstructing her father’s memories and inserting herself into them. With this body of work, Soares hoped to better understand her mother’s world at the time the photographs were taken. The resulting series and publication, “Este Seu Olhar” (“This Look of Yours”) (2012), evocatively pairs the original photographs with Soares’ uncanny reinterpretations.

While there are several arresting photographic essays on losing a parent—notably Miyako Ishiuchi’s “Mother’s” (2002) and Mariela Sancari’s “Moisés” (2015)—the playfulness and openness of this series sets it apart. The photographs communicate Soares’ curiosity and love for her mother. Soares invites the viewer’s participation as she becomes intimately acquainted with her mother. A generation apart, the striking similarities found in the scenes and between mother and daughter amplify the series’ resonance.

Soares created “Este Seu Olhar” in collaboration with Siete de un golpe and underbau. The book was exhibited at the Museo de la Universidad de Alicante, Madrid Photo, and PhotoEspaña in 2012. The first edition won the “Blankpaper” Dummy Contest in 2012. It was also selected for the Paraty in Focus festival in Brazil and SCAN Tarragona festival in Spain.

Currently based in Madrid, Maíra Soares worked for years as a photojournalist and photography teacher in São Paulo, Brazil, where she was born in 1980. In 2011, she graduated from the International Master of Photography program at EFTI School in Madrid. Soares has participated in group exhibitions at the University of Alicante Museum, Spain (2012), The Private Space Gallery of Barcelona, Spain (2012), the International Festival of Photography in Valparaíso, Chile (2012), and Meatings23, Barcelona, Spain (2012).

— Ashley McNelis