Murders, Mishaps and Mayhem Caught on Camera By “Mexican Weegee”

February 20, 2013 | Eugene Reznik

Fifty years of crimes scene and accident photography by the legendary Enrique Metinides a.k.a. “Mexican Weegee” go on view at Aperture Gallery tonight. The work, hand-selected by Metinides and curated by Tisha Ziff, editor of the monograph 101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides, will be paired alongside original newspaper tear sheets and other contextualizing ephemera.

Accompanying the images are Metinides’s own accounts of the characters and life of the streets, the sadness of families, the criminals, and the heroism of emergency workers—which reveal much about himself as well.

One of the most interesting aspects of the work is the great tension of making art of someone else’s “tragedy.” Often shooting very close, with a very wide lens, Metinides has managed time and again to avoid tabloid sensationalism, presenting still images that are able to give a fuller sense of scene and story unfolding. “101 Tragedies of Enrique Metinides,” Enrique Metinides, Feb 20 – April 20, Aperture Gallery, New York, Opening Reception on Feb 20, 6-8 PM

(Lead Photo: Mexico City, September 19, 1985 by Enrique Metinides. Caption: The Regis Hotel in downtown after the earthquake of 1985. The hotel was close to the store my father owned years earlier, when he gave me my first camera. Not only did the hotel collapse, but so did stores, restaurants, and cabarets halls nearby, as well as the Salinas y Rocha building. You can see the Torre Latinoamericano in the background.)