(April 10, 1934- )
Born in Medellin, Colombia
Photojournalist for Impacto magazine (1955-67)
Apprenticed under Colombian photojournalist Guillermo Angulo
Covered episodes of social upheaval throughout Latin America during the 1950's and 60's
Documented warfare and revolutions in Cuba, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic, and Guatemala
Best known for his iconic photographic portraits of Che Guevara, including 'El Ché Melancólico' (Melancholy Che) and 'Guerrillas in the Mist'
Publisher of the monthly naturalist magazine, Técnica Pesquera (1968-90)
Work is showcased in the permanent collections of Art Museums in San Francisco, Houston, Santa Barbara, and Tucson
Why he might be annoying
He shares a name with a Chilean footballer who plays for Coquimbo Unido.
He dropped out of the engineering department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico after failing advanced math, in 1954.
He only advanced as a photographer when his mentor traveled to Italy, resulting in him being named his replacement.
Prior to this, he usually ended up with assignments that Guillermo Angulo wasn't interested in taking.
He has been known to refuse awards for his work.
He took a famous photo of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with a black eye dealt to him in a brawl with Maroi Vosa Llosa.
He didn't have his first public exhibition until 2000.
Although he saw his work attain a resurge in popularity in his 70s, he has been unwilling to return to the photographic profession because it would mean transitioning to the digital medium.
Why he might not be annoying
He was a scuba diver.
His father was a set designer who worked for a Mexican theater company (who met his mother when his touring company came to Medellin).
He lived in Colombia only for the first few years of his life, but he claimed to have maintained a Colombian identity due to his mother's instilling him with her cultural values.
He captured the lives of Mexico's working class with a unique combination of brutal honesty and light humor.
He did photography for Salvador Novo for his 1968 book, 'Mexico.'
He enjoyed a successful stint as writer of short fiction after the end of his photography career, winning a Mexican National Literary award, in 1997.
He had been friends with Garcia Marquez for close to fifty years.
He is responsible for taking the most widely circulated portrait (in the US) of Marquez, which was featured on the jacket of the English translation of his 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' novel.
He received the 2007 Medal of Photographic Merit from Mexico’s National System of Photographic Archives.
He received the Presea Cervantina from the Festival Internacional Cervantino (2014).
Although more interested in depicting the working class, his father's entertainment connections enabled him to take portraits of Josephine Baker, Maria Felix, Dolores Del Rio, Emilio Fernandez, Celia Cruz, and Carlos Fuentes.
He remained humble after being rediscovered, telling an interviewer: 'I was a documentary photographer and no more. I don’t believe that my work has had an influence on society or changed anything in the world, but more than once it’s saved me and has again become a vital passion in these late years of my existence.'
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