a decade of mexican soap opera stars photographed by stefan ruiz a decade of mexican soap opera stars photographed by stefan ruiz
aug 01, 2012

a decade of mexican soap opera stars photographed by stefan ruiz

the amarte es mi pecado set as part of the ‘factory of dreams’ by stefan ruiz

documented in his project titled ‘the factory of dreams’, san franciscan artist stefan ruiz has spent almost a decade photographing up and coming soap stars from mexico’s biggest telenovela studio, televisa. the work examines the powerful impact and grip of latin american soap series’ – and their attractive protagonists – rife in mexican culture. the image-based exploration offers insight into the coveted and seemingly glamorous world of mexican entertainment that recycles familiar plots of beautiful women slighted, rescued and liberated by their wealthy lovers – of course only after many obstacles have been overcome. before they became hollywood fodder, ruiz has captured such starlets as selma hayek, gael garcía bernal and rogelio guerra, who had a lead role in los ricos también lloran (the rich also cry) – a show that once graced the russian new year’s presidential address when boris yeltsin couldn’t make it, and whose finale was watched by 70 percent of the russian population. not only does he include household names, ruiz also captures every aspect of the industry, even its students and background sets. 

ruiz describes his motivation to understand and record the phenomenon:

‘no one produces more telenovelas than mexican’s televisa studios. telenovelas and its protagonists are a powerful vehicle to understand contemporary latin american culture and its society. These fantasies of love, wealth and betrayal are one of Mexico’s largest exports, popular throughout latin america but also in africa, asia, europe and the USA. it’s very difficult to get access to telenovela sets because they want to control their image. they film really fast and, unlike American soap operas, there is a clear beginning and end so they don’t want outsiders to spoil it for their loyal viewers.’

daniel cortes, a student of centro de educación artística (CEA) of televisa

yadhira carrillo from the soap ‘amarte es mi pecado’ and adrian martinon, a student of centro de educación artística (CEA) of televisa  

unknown actress and maria favela from ‘rubí’

haydee navarra from ‘corazones al límite’ and vanessa guzmán from ‘rubí’

students of centro de educación artística (CEA) of televisa  

students of centro de educación artística (CEA) of televisa  

azucena preciado hernández and claudia prado terrazas in ‘amarte es mi pecado’ and filming on the set

  • and this has to do with design because….?

    rodrigo says:
  • It’s published under ‘art’ 🙂

    Pedro says:
  • could it be called boudoir photography?

    fhlns says:
  • I am mexican, I am a designer and I feel SO ashamed of seeing this….

    cedrela says:
  • Que asco que se le rinda culto a las novelas que han mantenido a mi pueblo jodido y en la ignorancia.

    chini says:
  • this is disgusting… we are having a critical period right now in Mexico which involves the collective contempt towards anything that comes from national TV network Televisa, including their soap-operas. Please try being more sensitive before publishing stuff like this. Try covering some of the art/ design that is being created around #yosoy132 movement.

    Claudia M says:
  • ?…Don’t like it…I am Mexican

    Mexicana says:
  • these images are not disgusting, the value of photography is its ability to generate critical dialogue and is not a mechanism to promote televisa, but commentary

    vavoom says:
  • Disgusting is the fact that design boom has decided to give any coverage to them, not the pictures. Out of context is the fact that any artist considers Mexican soap operas are of any relevance in 2012, they were a big thing back in the 80’s and 90’s, today they have a totally opposite meaning social wise. Ignorance and insensitivity are the reasons why anyone would like this article when Mexico is having a big revolution because of Televisa and all its products including soap operas.

    Claudia M says:
  • A find it a very mediocre article, not up to Designboom standards. Boring, without content. Not interesting at all, plus pretty insulting to mexican desing.

    Justino Lopez says:
  • the concept is disgusting, televisa and their tv dramas are the main brain washing for the masses with their mediocre and bad taste content. This is design?? NOT.

    Martin Parra says:
  • I appreciate the quality of the photographs and that\’s that, you don\’t have to be amused by siria\’s war in order to appreciate an excellent picture of said war. Photography is just a witness and in this case it\’s doing exactly what it was meant to, provoke commentary. Let it be. (I\’m also a mexican, a designer and I hate televisa, irrelevant.)

    ollin m says:
  • it only shows the mediocrity that Mexican television has and the sad reality where this crap educates the majority of the country.

    Lara says:

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