Her husband rides them for a living, but Delfina Blaquier prefers photographing horses.
BY JEFFREY SLONIM
Delfina and her children
“SHE’S BEAUTIFUL, WONDERFUL,” designer Marc Jacobs says, describing his elegant pal Delfina Blaquier. “The loveliest manners and the greatest sense of humor.”
The wife of international polo icon Nacho Figueras, Blaquier, a former model, hails from a distinguished Argentine family with polo in its bloodline. The family estancia is an impossibly chic French-style country manor. Blaquier recalls an early memory of her first foray into photography, when she was 15 years old: “My mother had this old Nikon that belonged to her father. She shot me riding bareback while I was shooting the horse.” She’s been shooting ever since. (Figueras’ grandfather even gave her an old Polaroid 210 with an accordion body to use.)
Blaquier’s work was first shown in 2007 at the Aldo de Sousa gallery in Buenos Aires. “The pictures were all taken at the same time with the same light,” she says, laying out the lone unifying factor: 7:30 PM in summer (“yellow and contrasty, very warm”). Blaquier’s photos are now exhibited regularly at museums and galleries in Argentina, such as Centro Cultural Recoleta and Buenos Aires Photo. One particular image by Blaquier, touted by aesthetes, is featured as the last double spread in Kelly Klein’s oversize coffee-table book Horse.
FROM LEFT: Corazon; Vasco Negro; Tinta
“I’m so in love with horses,” she says. “Loyalty, amazing strength; the sheer power in their chest, their backs. They are so honest and noble. I love Vasco Negro, one of Nacho’s best horses. You would think that a horse wouldn’t care, but they both want the same thing. I’ve never seen another horse so close with my husband—he loves Nacho. He’s very sweet. Every time he steps out of the paddock, he turns as if to say, ‘Hello.’”
Architecture is another theme in Blaquier’s work. “I’ve always loved buildings,” she says. “My family members are all designers on my mom’s side—naval architects, painters and artists. I design with the lens. All of my photographs are abstract; I don’t photograph the subject’s face, so the viewer can decide who they want them to be.”
But while the mother of three negotiates the jet-set polo circuit, it isn’t always horses or architecture that draws her eye. On a recent trip to Singapore, it was the flora. “The plants, the orchids, they were everywhere— on the street, hanging from the trees,” she says. “You could almost hear the plants breathing.”
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF NACHO FIGUERAS (PORTRAIT)