THROCKMORTON FINE ART is presenting “OJOS BIEN ABIERTOS” (EYES WIDE OPEN), a special exhibition of 35 signed, gelatin silver prints by the acclaimed Mexican photographer Rodrigo Moya, at its New York gallery staged to coincide with their participation in the prestigious Winter Antiques Show. This important exhibition is the first New York show dedicated to the work of Rodrigo Moya, (Mexico 1934).
Kraige Block, Executive Director of Throckmorton Fine Art, says, “Moya’s work exploring the social and political turmoil in Mexico, Cuba and other Latin American countries goes far beyond mere photo journalism. Our selection of images also demonstrates his unique talents as also a major portrait and architectural photographer. This is only the second exhibition devoted to Moya in this country.”
“The work of Rodrigo Moya, dating from the fifties and sixties makes up a significant chapter in Latin American photography,” says Spencer Throckmorton. “This exhibition underscores his masterful use of light and shadow as well as composition along with his sensitivity to the people,” says Throckmorton. The photographer’s candid images run the gamut from the revolution leader Che Guevara to painter Diego Rivera and Venezuelan guerillas to street children. Moya was the only Latin American to cover the US invasion of the Dominican Republic and the battle for Santo Domingo in April 1965.
Moya’s contributions to the field of photography have been recognized in the museum world at large. His images can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, among others. A number of renowned private collectors also have considerable holdings of his work.
In 2007, Moya was awarded the Medal of Photographic Merit by Mexico’s National System of Photographic Archives. Two years later, his work was highlighted in the documentary film Conciencia de Luz: Rodrigo Moya,, Fotografo.
Moya has been the subject of a number of publications, including Rodrigo Moya,: Una Vision Critica De La Modernidad (2006) and Rodrigo Moya,: Foto Insurrecta (2005). His work is prominently included in Fuera de Moda: Homenaje: Obra Fotografica, 1955-1968 (2002).
Moya’s images of political and social unrest as well as life in Latin America were featured in such influential magazines as Impacto, El Espectador, Politica, Sucesos and Siempre! Moya is also an award-winning author and in 1997 was honored with a Mexican National Literary Award for his work of fiction Cuentos para leer junto al mar (Tales to be Read by the Sea).
Born to Mexican parents in Colombia in 1934, Moya grew up in Mexico and apprenticed with the photographer Guillermo Angulo. His influences were Walker Evans, Eugene Smith and Dorothea Lange, who documented the Great Depression, and Italian neo- realist cinema, His life as a documentary photographer lasted only 12 years, from 1956-1968. Moya had abandoned his negatives for over 30 years but a bout with cancer led him to reconsider his position in photography. Working from thousands of negatives, Moya created signed limited edition gelatin silver prints.
Among the celebrated photographs on view are Moya’s iconic portraits of a cigar chomping Che Guevara titled “El Che melancolio” and a photograph of Nobel Prize winner in Literature Gabriel Garcia Marques with a shiner, -- the result of long-standing feud with Peruvian writer Mario Vargas. Also on view are the photographer’s images of five Venezuelan guerillas and street children and others.
“My photography was always in contact with reality, with passing life, with people without power and without future,” said Moya. The exhibit is a collaboration with Etherton Gallery of Tucson Arizona, honoring one of Latin Americas pioneer photographers of the mid-twentieth century.