|Jorge Marín in Monte Albán, Oaxaca circa 1987|
|Guanajuato, Guanajuato 1962|
Today I talked to an old friend I had not communicated for years. His name is Jorge Marín. He lives in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has been married 3 times but has been with his present wife for 32 years. He was amazed that I remembered his first wedding. It was in the house of a former president of Mexico, Adolfo López Mateos. The ceremony was in a living room the size of a big yacht that had numerous side living rooms and each one had a volcano painting by Dr. Atl.
Marín, and my long-time friend Yorkshire-born Andrew Taylor, had a company called Empac that manufactured machinery to bottle liquors and medicines.
Marín remembered a photograph that I took of him at Monte Albán in Oaxaca a site of wonderful ruins built by the Zapotec Indigenous Peoples. He has a copy of that photograph. It set me to thinking about this blog.
Marín told me that the site was empty when we went to it and somehow because they believed I was a journalist they let us in. He poses by a stella that he says is now protected by metal fencing.
The photograph works because of its sense of scale.
Another photograph came to mind, one I took in the city of Guanajuato in the State of Guanajuato in 1962 when I was 20. She may have been 8. There is nothing in this photograph that might indicate how tall or short she was. There is no scale. The photograph is framed going up the stairs to our guest room. I always stop and stare at it.
She would be 12 years younger than I am (about to be 81) at 69. I wonder if she is alive and if she is still living in Guanajuato?
I took the little girl’s photograph with either my Pentacon F or with my Asahi Pentax S-3. My friend Robert Hijar, who came along to our University of the Americas photo safari lent me, or a friend of his, a 135mm Steinheil telephoto for this photograph.
When we returned to Mexico City I entered my Guanajuato street photographs to the university’s art contest that included painting, sculpture and photographs. I won (the only time in my life that I did) the overall prize and my diploma was signed by no less than by Rufino Tamayo.
There is simply something about Mexico that I cannot see in my Vancouver except in my studio. On the street I am not inspired.
I will be going to Mexico City in mid October, invited by the Fondo de Cultura Ecónomica to show my author photographs and to chat about them in two places. One is at the Zócalo (the centre square of the city) where they will be holding the week-long Feria del Libro. The other location will be the Fondo’s bookstore named after a Mexican female poet called Rosario Castellanos. At one time in 1961 I was living on Avenida Tamaulipas , in the Condesa Colonia. My mother, grandmother and I were one block away from the the Cine Lido, a neighbourhood movie theatre. It is now that bookstore!
I will be taking my portable studio light so that I can photograph the up-in-coming and contemporary Mexican authors. Perhaps I might even take some street photographs.