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S E C T I O N 2 Artscene S ick in bed with a fever, 5-year-old Guillermo Rivas flipped through an old family photo album to pass the time. Entranced by the portraits of his family members, he began a lifelong passion for photography. Mr. Rivas was born in 1948 and raised in Peru, a country where he spent his life as a network television executive, political activist, economist, professor and artist, including as a professional photographer. His photographs have been exhibited in venues from Chicago and Sydney to Beijing. About 18 months ago, he moved to Menlo Park with his wife Zoila to live closer to his daughter Andrea, a medi- cal student at Stanford, her husband Andrew, an American mathematician, and their newly born grandchildren. A volunteer at the Cantor Arts Center and Bing Concert Hall, Mr. Rivas looks to open a professional photography practice here. On Saturday, July 13, he will talk about his life’s work and show his photographs of his native Peru in a presentation in the Menlo Park council chambers. His photographs will be on display at the Menlo Park Library during July. A professional photographer for about 30 years, he says he has a new theory on how to teach photography. Photographer sheds light on his native Peru in a Menlo Park talk and exhibit By Tara Golshan | Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac Seeing what others don’t These Uro children were photographed by Guillermo Rivas on one of their native islands in Lake Titicaca in the Puno region of Peru. Special to the Almanac “Most of the photography courses in the world are more on technique ...,” he says. “I teach my students how to see first, and then how to manage the camera.” The trick, he says, is to see what nobody else sees. “When I was very young, when I was 7 years old, I started to cry the whole night because I saw a very poor old man in the streets,” he says, describing his poverty-stricken homeland. Today, he says, for many, poverty is hidden, seen through the influence of the political establishment and selfinterest and accepted as “part of the landscape.” Guillermo Rivas “People who don’t see the things around them ... forget that 30,000 children die every day in poverty — we avoid that in our world,” he says. “One of the little works of a photographer is showing that.” According to Mr. Rivas, a great photograph defies three realities: the fact that a photograph is a single moment, two-dimensional and static. A “great” photograph, he says, has history, gives the illusion that it is a “window into another world,” and introduces movement. See RIVAS, page 23 June 26, 2013NTheAlmanacOnline.comNThe AlmanacN21

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