Mexican Portraits

Edited by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
Introduction and texts by Vesta Mónica Herrerías Copublished with Fundación Televisa

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11 3/8 x 12 7/8 inches 356 pages, 390 duotone and four-color images Hardcover with jacket 978-1-59711-227-7 Spring 2013 Designed by Emily Lessard
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In the history of photography in Mexico, portraiture is an important tradition that transcends styles, subjects, and decades. Mexican Portraits includes more than 350 portraits from over eighty anonymous and well-known Mexican photographers, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Agustín V. Casasola, Romualdo García, Graciela Iturbide, and Enrique Metinides.


Including both contemporary and classic works, mostly created from the 1970s to the present, this diverse group of images has been selected by photographer and editor Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, in conjunction with curator Vesta Mónica Herrerías, and presents an idiosyncratic and personal perspective on this particular genre. Mexican Portraits explores the frontiers of portraiture from various perspectives. At the center of this wide-ranging selection are two distinct notions embedded in the history of the portrait: mask and metamorphosis. The face is the most communicative part of the human body, with the ability both to reveal and to cover up emotions, creating an ever-fascinating tension between the temporary and the permanent. Organized into fourteen chapters, this beautifully illustrated book is a reflection on Mexican portraiture and identity, both individual and collective.


Photographers Include: Eunice Adorno, Francis Alÿs, Iñaki Bonillas, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Miguel Calderón, Ana Casas, Agustín V. Casasola, María Félix, Romualdo García, Maya Goded, Juan Guzmán,Javier Hinojosa, Graciela Iturbide, Guillermo Kahlo, Fernando Montiel Klint, Gerardo Montiel Klint, Dr. Lakra (Jerónimo López Ramírez), Nacho López, Enrique Metinides, Pedro Meyer, Rodrigo Moya, Adolfo Patiño, Daniela Rossell, Stefan Ruiz, Carlos Somonte, Carla Verea


Pablo Ortiz Monasterio (editor) is a photographer, curator, and editor who lives and works in Mexico City. In 1994 Monasterio founded the Centro de la Imagen, an important venue for the education, discussion, and promotion of photography in Mexico. He has served as an editor on various book projects, includin Mexico y Indígena, and the periodical Luna Córnea. Monasterio was also a founding editor of Río de Luz, a collection of twenty books published by El Fondo de Cultura Económica in Mexico City.


Vesta Mónica Herrerías (introduction and texts) has worked as a curator and researcher on various photography projects. She completed a doctoral thesis on the evolution of portraiture in Mexico under Philippe Dubois at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne- nouvelle. She currently runs the publication Serie Ve, which is dedicated to photographic essays.

“Spanning nearly the entire history of photography in Mexico, [the book] manages to be expansive without being boring or compulsively encyclopedic. It offers a window—or hundreds of windows, with each image—into the mindset of Mexico, rich and poor, rural and urban. And unlike many projects of its kind, Mexican Portraits began not with the past, but with the present.” Damien Cave, “Mexico Points the Camera at Itself,” The New York Times Lens Blog


A majestic study has quite recently been added to the literature on this subject [of portraiture], Mexican Portraits, edited by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio. . . . He has fashioned an anthology of faces radiating through a panorama of Mexican life, unforgettably clamorous and poignant." —Max Kozloff, "Brief Encounters," Bookforum

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