The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
This article by Raúl Flores Guerrero provides a thumbnail sketch of Nacho López’s training as a photographer. It mentions that he was born in Tampico (in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas). Flores Guerrero explains that, while still an amateur, López took his earliest photographs in Mérida, Yucatán, and then moved to Mexico City where he studied photography and learned the art of capturing images on film. His first teachers were Víctor de Palma, in Cuernavaca, and Manuel Álvarez Bravo, at the Academia Cinematográfica. In this brief biographical account, Flores Guerrero reports that López was invited to teach courses on photographic techniques at the School of Journalism at the Universidad Central in Venezuela, where he photographed the overthrow of Rómulo Gallegos in 1948. According to Flores Guerrero, when López returned to Mexico he learned how to photograph everyday subjects; more precisely, to see aesthetic objects where others saw merely ordinary things, and López’s trained eye allowed him to see and capture photographic expressions of daily life. The article stresses the photographer’s ability to capture light, perspective, and the spontaneous actions of his subjects, transforming banal items into expressions of aesthetic beauty. López was skilled at photographing people living on the margins of society, and was considered the photographer of Mexico and its people.
This article mirrors the increasing importance of the photographer Nacho López (1923–1986) and his work in Mexican cultural circles. López pioneered the art of aesthetically inspired documentary photography, which had a profound influence on Mexican intellectuals and artists at the time. The article explains how the photographer established himself in the artistic world and how he created a school of Mexican photojournalism that would yield important results in later years. It is clear from this account that López was considered a master of an unprecedented style of chance, spontaneous photography. Years later it became known that many of his series and photographs were in fact the result of special editing, careful staging, and calculated mise-en-scène, though none of these revelations detracted from their documental and testimonial value.