Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Adam’s rib

May 22, 2020 - Macarena Costan

I normally begin my series Caliza with the photo ‘Adam’s rib’. I think this photograph stands out due to the symbolic and intriguing meaning, and the compositional aesthetic aspects of it. The plant appearing in the photo is popularly known in Spain as “la Costilla de Adam” which means Adam’s rib.


This plant is very typical and you can find it in almost every house in the South of Spain. It is called Adam’s rib due to the form of the leaves which reminds you of the shape of the human ribs.
The name Adam refers to the mythical creation of the Abrahamic religion, which said that the first woman Eve, was created from one of Adam’s ribs to be Adam’s companion. The verse of Genesis 2:22 translates as “The Lord took a rib and filled the hollow with flesh, shaped the woman and presented her to man”.


The face is hidden and only the plat is coming out from one of the holes of the leaf as a symbol of control and the wider image serves as an allegory of gender dynamics. It is interesting how an ordinary plant comes to acquire a symbolic power; becoming a different version of itself.


The Bible says that man was created in God’s image, placing women in a different alignment, beneath as a subordinate, and aligned her with nature. I think the presence of religious symbols in my work is important as we cannot deny the influence that religion has in some people’s daily lives, on the way we behave and on our culture.