When photographer Alex Webb first visited Mexico in 1975, he was immediately captivated by the intense light, color, and energy of its streets. Over the next few decades, he would return numerous times, drawn to the U.S.-Mexico border, and then into southern Mexico in the 1980s and ’90s. Casting his preconceptions aside, he allowed his camera to lead him.
La Calle brings together more than thirty years of photography from the streets of Mexico by Alex Webb, spanning from 1975 to 2007. Whether in black and white or color, Webb’s richly layered and complex compositions touch on multiple genres. As Geoff Dyer writes, “Wherever he goes, Webb always ends up in a Bermuda shaped triangle where the distinctions between photojournalism, documentary, and art blur and disappear.” Webb’s ability to distill gesture, light, and cultural tensions into single, beguiling frames results in evocative images that convey a sense of mystery, irony, and humor.
Following an initial trip in the mid-1970s, Webb returned frequently to Mexico, working intensely on the U.S.–Mexico border and into southern Mexico throughout the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by what poet Octavio Paz calls “Mexicanism—delight in decorations, carelessness and pomp, negligence, passion, and reserve.” La Calle presents a commemoration of the Mexican street as a sociopolitical bellwether—albeit one that has undergone significant transformation since Webb’s first trips to the country.
You can still see the exhibition at Aperture Gallery till 26th October, 2016. Also if you want to purchase a hardcover format of La Calle, one option is from Aperture online shop and second with little higher price, limited quantity 1st. Edition signed by Alex Webb from Magnum Photos online shop.
Texts by Guillermo Arriaga, Álvaro Enrigue, Valeria Luiselli, Guadalupe Nettel, and Mónica de la Torre.
La Calle is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York and Televisa Foundation, Mexico City. Curated by Alfonso Morales. All prints courtesy the collection of Televisa Foundation.