No Photos of the Art Please

Bill Ipsan Work at Santo Domingo, La Antigua Guatemala

The warning came from behind: “Please, we’re really not supposed to be taking photos of the art here.” I had just snapped this picture when I spun around to see who was trying to tell ME not to take photos. 😉

“Hi, I’m Bill Ipsan and I’d prefer if the artwork was not photographed.” Ah, the artist. Little did he know that I was taking photos for my new project – an effort to round up all the fun, crazy things happening with art here in Antigua and post information about it in one central website. But, I just shrugged and said “Okay…“ I had already captured some good shots and I knew that the one I just took was the “it” photo that I would end up taking at the exhibit anyway. It was too spontaneously perfect.

“So what do you do?” Ipsan warmly inquired. He obviously didn’t want to come across as an artist prick because it was obvious that’s not who he was… and I can certainly understand an artist protecting his art.

“I’m a journalist,” I confidently shot back.

“Oh well! If it’s for journalism feel free to take as many photos as you want!” It looks like Billy was a fan of promoting his work. 😉 Jejejeje. The spoils of being a journalist! There are times I’ve marched right into backstage declaring: “Journalist!” Works most of the time.

Anyway, Ipsan was an “absolute charmer,” as my painter friend Geovany Flores put it. I’d have to agree. Ipsan is super “amable.” I explained my new project to him and he quickly offered to get together for a proper interview. Ipsan’s work is being displayed in Hotel Casa Santo Domingo and the artist will be here for about another month. You can learn more through my interview with him on

text and photo by Laura McNamara

© 2009 – 2017, Laura McNamara. All rights reserved.

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  • Why do some people get so worked up if we take a photo? Some places, an employee will come running over, “Can I help you…” annoying!

    • Actually he was a complete gentleman. And I can understand why someone would protect their art…

      viva las periodistas si!!

  • Eric

    I do like the ‘It’ photo. In a way, it very directly depicts the art flowing from the mind of the artist. I’ll keep an eye out for the interview. Gracias!
    Y, viva las periodistas !

    • Actually, that’s not the artist. It was a admirer (or critic – not sure which) of the art! But yeah, I like that even better! It’s as if the viewer saw the art and it entered his mind and was flowing out again… like an exchange!

  • We just had a great art festival here in Toronto- a dusk to dawn event where the whole city becomes an art environment. Artists show everything from traditional work hanging on gallery walls, to interactive experimental pieces using light ,film, sound and performance. As well, many artists choose to integrate technologies and activities that operate on the very edges of popular culture. There seemed to be just as many people taking pictures and recording the events as there were artists- in fact it was hard to tell the difference!(It brings the whole city out onto the streets, wonderful- what a great idea for Antigua!-)The boundaries between art and life, us and them, creator and observer becomes more blurred everyday, opening up all kinds of interesting questions about what constitutes both.

    • “Art festival… It brings the whole city out onto the streets, wonderful- what a great idea for Antigua!” THIS IS A LARGE PART OF THE VISION FOR ARTEANTIGUA.COM Use it to start a proper art walk or art festival!!

  • Great picture and great to find out about ArteAntigua, it looks like a very interesting proposal.

  • I love it!!! Keep surprising us!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ll manage to visit the exposition, it seems very interesting!!!!!!!!!! Cheers!!!!!!!!

  • @Laura, I really like this image, the composition is wonderful and it lends itself to all kinds of interpretations.

  • Thanks Rudy!!

  • Good P-L-U-G, Arte Antigua is looking good!