Mexican photographer Lourdes Grobet dies at 81

RIP Mexican photographer Lourdes Grobet

Lourdes Grobet, a Mexican photographer who focused her camera on the raucous, highflying sport of Lucha libre, demystifying one of Mexico’s national pastimes with pictures that captured professional wrestlers in the ring and at home — raising their arms in triumph, feeding a hungry baby, posing for a family portrait (all while wearing their signature wrestling masks) — died July 15 at her home in Mexico City. She was 81. Lourdes Grobet, a

Her son Xavier said she had been ailing but did not give a specific cause. On Twitter, the Mexican culture ministry called Ms. Grobet “one of the greatest representatives of photographic art in Mexico,” adding that “her work portrayed urban culture from the perspective of socially marginalized groups.”

Tinieblas Tinieblas JR, and Aluxe (Photo by Lourdes Grobet)

In an art career that spanned more than half a century, Ms. Grobet dabbled in theater, film, and video projects, examining issues of social class and gender while trying to carve out space for women in the traditionally male-dominated art world. She photographed Indigenous actors in a Mexican theater troupe, made photomurals of household appliances, and traveled to the Bering Strait, the icy curtain between Russia and the United States, to take pictures and video footage for a project examining notions of political borders and migration.

Photo by Lourdes Grobet

But she was best known for taking her camera into wrestling arenas across Mexico, where she showed an anthropologist’s eye while photographing wrestlers known as luchadores and taking pictures of the crowds that came to see them fight. Her photos captured near-mythical wrestlers such as Blue Demon and El Santo — the silver-masked, everyman hero who became one of Mexico’s most beloved athletes — and often bore a whiff of the surreal, with the luchadores wearing their masks far outside the ring.

Juxtaposing the ordinary and the theatrical, Ms. Grobet photographed a masked Blue Demon wearing an elegant three-piece suit, complete with cuff links and a carefully knotted tie. Her 1980 portrait of the father-son duo of Tinieblas and Tinieblas Jr. showed them seated at home, in their usual outfits of glittering gold and silver, and joined by their fur-covered mascot Alushe, who resembled an Ewok from Star Wars.

Lucha Libre legend Blue Demon photographed by Lourdes Grobet

Ms. Grobet was especially interested in wrestlers’ domestic lives, photographing one shirtless luchador in his opulent living room alongside a life-size sculpture of a hunting dog.

With information from Medio Tiempo

Mexico Daily Post