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Nacho López, Mexican Photographer

John Mraz
Volume: 14
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Nacho López, Mexican Photographer
    Book Description:

    Photographer Nacho López was Mexico’s Eugene Smith, fusing social commitment with searing imagery to dramatize the plight of the the marginalized in the pages of glossy magazines. In Nacho López, Mexican Photographer, John Mraz offers the first full-length study in English of this influential photojournalist and provides a close visual analysis of more than fifty of López’s most important photographs.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9422-8
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Photographs
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  5. Author’s Note
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. 1. Documenting Mexico
    (pp. 1-22)

    The undeniable existence of the apparently invisible, the dignity of the evidently insignificant, and the quest for an aesthetic to render their testimonies—these were the focus of Nacho López, who photographed the daily life of the downtrodden for illustrated magazines during the 1950s.¹ Picture magazines were a dominant form of visual culture throughout the Western world from the 1930s to the mid-1950s, and López worked for Mexico’s leading weeklies—Hoy, Mañana,andSiempre!(Today, Tomorrow, and Always)—the equivalents ofLifeandLookin the United States,Picture Postin Great Britain, theBerliner Illustrierte Zeitungin Germany, and...

  7. 2. Photojournalism and Photoessays during the 1950s
    (pp. 23-64)

    The decade during which Nacho López published in the illustrated magazines has been one of the shadow regions of modern Mexican history.¹ The 1950s were not a cataclysmic era, such as the epoch of 1910–20, when the Mexican Revolution was the first movement of the twentieth century that appeared to create the possibility of profound socioeconomic and political transformations. Nor did the 1950s seem to be characterized by the larger-than-life people and events of the 1920s, when the revolutionarycaudillosÁlvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles propelled a nation-building effort to centralize and secularize Mexican society, engaging in the...

  8. 3. Photoessays by Nacho López
    (pp. 65-162)

    With his first photoessay, Nacho López entered the world of the illustrated magazines as if it were his home. “Noche de muertos” appeared inMañanaduring November of 1950, and his portrayal of Purépecha families during their all-night vigil on Janitzio Island in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, demonstrated López’s interest in exploring Mexico’s pluralities.¹ It was also indicative of the regard with which he would be held in these periodicals: he was responsible for both the photos and the texts, something unheard of for a photojournalist so young, and with almost no experience in the mass media. The vast majority ofMañana’s...

  9. 4. Thinking about Documentary
    (pp. 163-192)

    The daily and weekly tasks to which photojournalists are usually assigned leave them little time to meditate on their work. Moreover, their forte is images, not words; what they have to say, they say with pictures. Some few photojournalists have written about the practice of their craft, or offered historical overviews of press photography in particular situations.¹ However, if they have put words to paper, it has generally been in the form of the autobiographies; among those who have reflected on their experiences in book form one finds Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa, Kent Cooper, David Douglas Duncan, Arnold Genthe, Otto...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 193-238)
  11. Select Bibliography
    (pp. 239-244)
  12. Index
    (pp. 245-250)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 251-251)