I met Roberto, a street artist, in the center of Mexico City at Alameda Park next to the Belles Artes. As the video demonstrates, Roberto was a bit of a showman, and it was apparent to me that he was much more skilled in his craft than what was demonstrated in the paintings he was producing for tourists.
I asked him if he could reproduce a photograph of Las Pozas I had taken as a study for the panoramic project I was working on at the time titled Las Pozas: Steps & Falls. I explained the project to him and the attempt at trying to recreate the colors and details that Edward James, the garden's creator, saw in the rainforest jungle. I insisted that Roberto, like James did with his collaborators, give me an interpretation of what he saw in my photographs in his own hand, not in the style of images he was making for the public.
The next evening he brought back a reinterpretation that stunned me. It wasn't a direct copy, but yet it was. In his reproduction he was able to touch on an alternative clarity that I found interesting. I then commissioned Roberto to do a dozen photos from the same shoot and a few months later he delivered an array of paintings that pushed the boundaries my photographs.
Putting the two images side by side didn't pit one image against the other, but projected the viewer, like an early stereoscope photograph would, into another reality.