Enrique Metinides, Mexico’s Weegee

Viewer discretion advised: This video contains graphic images.

There is something about the photography of Enrique Metinides that captivated me the instant I became aware of his work. My curiosity about the man and his images eventually led me to his home in Mexico City to hear his story. 

I guess part of me naturally felt that I should be shocked or horrified by the subject matter that Metinides photographed—for almost fifty years during his career as a tabloid journalist he captured murders and car crashes, criminals and catastrophes. However, when I first saw his images, around the time of his New York exhibition in 2006, I felt neither of these things.

For me, there is something in Enrique’s photography that manages to romance the viewer rather than repulse. Instead of looking away from his images, we are somehow drawn in by their cinematic flair and the stories they hint at—stories that we are left to make up the beginnings and endings to ourselves.

Eunice Adorno

Enrique Metinides, Mexico's Weegee

It should come as no surprise that it was the young Metinides’ obsession with gangster movies of the 1930’s and 40’s that led him, at the age of ten, to pick up a camera, for his eye is that of the astute film director. He always knows where to place his camera to maximize the drama and impact of his work, using the backdrop of his native Mexico City as a great sound stage upon which he cast his heroes and villains, his life effectively one unbroken tracking shot through a movie that was never made.

It is these things that make his work special to me, the fact that the life he chose to lead was one sparked by his imagination, but lived out in the real world.

Ross McDonnell is a photographer and filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland.

His most recent film, Colony, has just been released on DVD.

Related Topics: , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

Philip Montgomery for Bloomberg Businessweek

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 27, 2014

Photojournalism Daily is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Read More
The henna is a pre-nuptial cerimony celebrated in Moroccan or Yemenite families where the soon-to-be bride is dressed-up as a Queen with flowers and jewels and she is inivited to dance with her girl friends to say good-bye to celibacy and life as a single young girl. During the dance cerimony, the Kallah, the bride-to-be's hands and feet are painted with henne`, the red pouder from India. This welcomes fertility and happinesses within the marriage. Meah Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel. July 2012.

Finding Faith and Beauty in the Lives of Orthodox Jewish Women

A suspected migrant runs back to Miguel Aleman, Mexico after being pursued by agents near Roma, Texas. Oct. 8, 2014.

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 26, 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,422 other followers