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Te Amo - Luis Cobelo


The fotonovela deeply marked Latin American society. Hate, passionate and forbidden love, adultery, envy, revenge, fantasy, and explorations of social class and stereotypes are just some of the common themes. The influence of the fotonovela was multigenerational. The fotonovela narrative begins candidly, the arguments are presented -almost always related to love or falling in love- and then a drama ensues, arising from jealousy, betrayal, or some other overflowing emotional manifestation. It navigates between tragedies involving generalized violence, physical and psychological abuse, and ultimately leads to a tragic (death or exile) or happy (wedding or kiss) ending. Above all, it steers the reader towards concrete and conclusive sentiments: I love you, I hate you, you are mine, I’ll leave you, I’ll hit you, I’m sorry, forgive me, I’ll kill you, I’ll kill myself, we are happy, we are unhappy, life is hard, life is beautiful.

The aggressive, often violent dialogues and actions in a fotonovela tend to go unnoticed due to the use of hypersexualized photographic representations of the female body, almost always dramatic and misogynistic, generating a perhaps intentional distraction from the core of the story.

Through the appropriation of images from these fotonovelas, along with photographs I made in Mexico and other places in Latin America, my idea is to reformulate the texts together with the montages, so that they function as spaces for doubt, and for viewers to reflect on the scenarios shown, in a way free of prejudices. Te Amo invites us to think and contribute to a healthy discussion and exchange of ideas. It is not a fotonovela made in the classic way, with its own structures that are expected of it. Instead, it is a broad proposal where I invite reflection, from irony, dark humor, and sarcasm, -all with sufficient seriousness- opening a door to a parallel world where the tragic setting of the novela and the human drama is linked to the way in which we live out relationships and love, intermingled in a single vision. This project has organically allowed me to review my experiences of love, where I have failed, fallen into the abyss, and risen again. It is a real and subjective reflection of how I was raised and educated, within a patriarchal system, on what love should be. I have identified patterns and now recognize my generational perspective as a man who grew up around the drama, and I establish myself as an imperfect and evolving human being. -Publisher

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First Edition / 2023
Details: Hardcover , 13 x 9  inches

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