The New York Daily News

New book introduces 89-yr-o Colombian photog to US

Sept 16--Legendary Colombian photographer Nereo López Meza is finally coming into focus in the U.S. with the first stateside release of a book about his work.

16 de septiembre de 2009

“Nereo: Images From Half a Century” (Editorial Campana) features 63 black-and-white photos covering — despite the book’s title — 33 years of a career spanning more than six decades.

Official-looking pictures — of Richard Nixon in 1958 and John F. Kennedy in 1961 during their respective visits to Colombia — and candid snapshots of impoverished indigenous children throughout Latin America come to life in the coffee-table tome.

“As photographers we are witnesses to the time in which we live; that’s why we have to tell the stories like they are,” said Nereo, 89, who has lived in Queens for the past seven years. “I’m a photographer to recount life.”

The bilingual book also includes three photos of a packed bullfighting ring in Sincelejo, Colombia, in 1960. The ring itself is made of wood, pretty much planks, and looks like it can fall any minute.

In the last shot, hundreds of people are running away from a bull. “There’s not even one person that is not moving,” he said.

“Human Tractor” shows the last step in the process of pulling a one-piece canoe made of the trunk of a huge tree from the mountains to the sea.
Read more here.
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