Zaida Gonzalez Rios

Primera Comunion


My intention is to critique the traditions and social references of Western culture, as well as use irony in questioning certain canons, such as the idealization of the body in advertising and media, the role of gender, and a consumer based existence due to globalization and individualism in an environment that is marked by an increase in the disposable.

I seek to show something different: that which is not well regarded or accepted, an escape from what we have been taught to “behold and admire.” This is manifested with ordinary models, average people who would not otherwise be photographed for an advertising campaign.

With the inclusion of dead and deformed babies in the photographs, I intend to rescue people that were abandoned without a proper farewell. I want to dignify them, transporting them into a picture, surrounded by objects and symbolism to leave them history so that they do not go unnoticed or ignored. I confront the viewer with the truth, one that weighs on the conscience of agricultural industries, since the indiscriminate use of toxic pesticides every year cause children to be born with and die from physiological and physical deformities. This fact is hidden from society by companies that have economic power in our country.

With the lighting techniques used in the images (black and white pictures painted by hand) and small format, I intend to create a break between the form and substance, softening and dislodging the message.




1977, San Miguel, Santiago de Chile.

Photographer and veterinarian.

Zaida received her degree in commercial photograhy but has since dedicated herself exclusively to personal projects, exhibiting her work in various group and solo exhibitions in Chile.

Her work has been featured internationally in Colombia, Argentina, USA, Belgium, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, Spain, France, Portugal and Mexico.

She currently teaches photography in the Escuela de Comunicaciones Alpes and works as a freelance veterinarian.

She has authored 3 books to date: “Las Novias de Antonio” (La Revista, 2009), ” Recuérdame al morir con mi último latido” (2010) and “Zaida Gonzalez De Guarda” (2013). Her last two books were published independently with the help of her brother, designer Marco Gonzalez.

She was the recipient of four photography scholarships from Fondart (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011) and was a resident of fine art photography for Nelson Garrido in Valparaiso (2010).

In 2007 and 2011 she was nominated for the Altazor award for her work “Conservatorio Celestial” and “Recuérdame al morir con mi último latido,” respectively.

In 2012 she won the Rodrigo Rojas De Negri award and national recognition in emerging photography.

In 2013 she was awarded a grant from the DIRAC for a residency she completed with the NGO (Organización Nelson Garrido) in Caracas, Venezuela.


Related links

Zaida González Ríos



15 thoughts on “Zaida Gonzalez Rios – Primera Comunion”

  1. Jamie Maxtone-Graham

    I didn’t need the statement by the photographer to find this series completely refreshing. Nice work and kudos to BURN for bringing it to our attention.

  2. wonderful







    The artist statement on its own is a work of sheer beauty. So accurate and precise.






    If you bought any of that you clearly dont know me at all :))))

    I may have to go to the basement and get a bit class A

    The flickr site is priceless.


    nobody here would expect you of all people to like these photographs…i can see you cringe!!

    yet i think all of us are suffering a bit because of the artist statement which we struggled to translate…Zaida speaks no English, and we just could not get what i think is a truly accurate artist statement….

    Zaida is clearly however on the road to great recognition…and will of course be quite happily controversial all the way

    cheers, david

  4. DAVID. Absolutely.
    That I get a bit sarcastic about it shouldnt in any way affect the recognition of the work, or of others take on it.(as, of course, it wont) its just me and a late night beer not knowing when to go to bed after all :)
    and of course I am talking to my reaction to the work itself, not to the artist.

    Very glad you are back in the saddle.

  5. Batalla en el cielo! :))….

    anytime someone combines humor with an iconoclastic sensibility (and hand-paints pics), I’m totally there! :))…..Bolaño, would approve :))….

    love the hand-painted nipples and the dogs pink prick too :))…..

    and first it seemed very ‘mexican’ in its humor and its treatment of catholic/c.american iconography but chile’s got some madness in its rhymes too :))….kind of like Saudek gone S.american :)))….

    as for the statement….ummmm….paint over it with fuschia and lavender ;))…

    cool and lovely to see this on a monday :)))



    p.s. love the Gladdy! :)))

  6. Zaida is clearly however on the road to great recognition…

    As a veterinarian?

    PS: Come on guys… Just a little humour!

  7. Love this work, the colors, the culture everything! as someone said clever….

    PS: David the translations rocks! hahaha…joking

  8. I totally agree with Jusimoma, she is greatly overrated and this is not the first time I am seeing this look.. I live here in Chile and I have seen better work than this by students who have no where to exhibition their work.. (luckily for Zaida..)

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