by Simon Urwin
Even though I lived all over Latin America in a 3-year stint on the continent, I’d never made it to Mexico. So, in between commissions, I flew to D.F. for 10 days in search of a series of stylised portraits that captured something of daily life in one of world’s largest mega-capitals.
I decided to head into some of Mexico City’s less salubrious neighbourhoods such as Tepito and Neza to shoot the urban experience at street level so hired a local fixer and a security guard, known only as El Loco (‘the crazy one’), to make sure I didn’t get kidnapped or kit-napped, a realistic possibility in most of the areas we were entering.
Regardless that Mexico City is not known for it’s obvious beauty, if you look hard enough it can surely be found. As we made our way from cantina to illegal cockfight, what stood out in particular were the costumes which are central to most of the pillars of modern Mexican culture – whether worn by Catholic priests or wrestling ‘luchadores’, mariachis or ‘quinceañera’ girls celebrating their 15th birthdays.
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