Gabriela Mendez is an 18 year-old photographer from Miami who has a knack for capturing a pure, dream-like reality. And for being so young, her work is quite refined. She pictures people in unreal portraits that showcase human beauty and vulnerability. Her use of color and props are magnificent, yet usually unplanned. Mendez tells us that she often creates on the spot, somehow pulling off the gorgeous results seen below. Click on any photo below to browse through a gallery of Mendez’s work, and read our interview with her that follows.
You have a very unique style to your work – how would you describe it?
I would describe my work as very colorful and distinctive.
What initially got you interested in photography?
I got a camera and just thought it would be great to take pictures of my friends doing dumb shit. Then Instagram started about and I saw how people [were being] so creative with photography.
There seems to be a great amount of thought and creativity that goes into each photo. How exactly do you come up with new ideas for a shoot?
Honestly, I come up with these ideas on the spot. I like going into shoots not knowing what’s gonna happen. I bring about props with me and go to random locations – sometimes I feel like building sets and having a game plan in mind, but I usually free ball it.
Who are your inspirations?
John Yuyi, Maya French, Signe Pierce – these are self-made artists that have inspired me to do the same.
I saw that you were a part of a show at Art Basel in Miami on December 9th. How was that experience?
That was a show I curated that ended up being a success. I got to see old friends and expose my work to different people during Art Basel.
Besides photography, do you create any other forms of art?
Installations [are] the main thing I would see myself creating besides photography [that] I feel like I could actually mature in.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years I see myself in Europe hosting art shows, maybe living there who knows.