Face to Face
Face to face

Face to Face

Face to Face

Face to Face

Face to Face

Face to Face


One woman, one cold room in the early hours of a leisure day in Antigua Guatemala. And another in a bed bathed by the soft light of a Costa Rican sunset: face to face in these photographs. One perhaps thinking of her children while I set my camera for the low light levels; the other chatting quietly about her insecurities in Law School while I shoot the image. This contrast is the inspiration behind this art project, Face to Face.


While browsing through my files I see hundreds of photographs, each bringing back memories about the models and the sessions. I think of what has become of each of these women. Some were unmarried when I photographed them. Some still are. Contrasting lives. Some were mothers, some became mothers years later, some never. More contrasts. Some finished their careers and are now engineers, scientists, managers; some gave up but carry on with their lives. Such contrasts of human experience inspired this series in which they meet face to face here and in a few cases, a woman faces herself, like in these pairs:

  • Formal - Informal
  • Before and During
  • Danseuse
  • Peekaboo
  • Teasing - Serious
  • Triptych - Turning Around

In a few other, there are more than two women, but always they are somehow face to face. In Four Nations the models are (clockwise) from Costa Rica, Panama, Salvador and Mexico, but despite their cultural differences they all share their humanity and femineity.


In Three Women - Four Reflections I wanted to show, face two face, two ways in which a body is copied by nature. In one side, DNA produces copies of a basic design, in the other, it is the mirror that “copies” a beautiful body.


And finally, in The Smiles I stress the fact that a key part is missing. It is not my fault, it is the fault of the sexist violence that permeates our world and forces me to cut out faces. I censored the galleries to protect the models from any form of violence. The only exception is from a very old photograph of a professional model whose nudes appeared in the media and who has now been forgotten. For the rest, only the women and those they chose will have the pleasure of seeing the images in their full beauty. All the best to them, I will always be thankful for their trust.

"Forget the top of Mount Everest, forget the bottom of the sea, the moon, the stars, there is no place nowhere that has been the object of more ambitions, more battles than the sweet sacred mystery between a woman's legs".Gigli, Martin Brest, 2003

Julián Monge-Nájera

Tropinature, Costa Rica, 2015