The Last City. Pablo Ortiz Monasterio (Mexico).
Photographs by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
Design and edit by Jack Woody, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio
Text by Jose Emilio Pacheco
Published by Twin Palms, 1995. First edition, 3,000 copies.
Pablo Ortiz Monasterio is a Mexican photographer, also known for his editorial work (Río de Luz and Luna Córnea). Pablo Ortiz Monasterio spent years wandering in Mexico City, capturing isolated moments of the megapolis, its inhabitants, crimes, corners, energy, misery, surprises. The photographs are exceptional: iconic jump picture, dramatic personifications of Christ, a boy with a dog, a guy looking through the shades, turkeys walking in debris. Ortiz’s project started as a documentation but turned into a symbolic journey. Guns, poverty, yet the city is still full of life and smiles.
"The city keeps transforming itself so much that a description seems futile," Ortiz said. "The size of it is so immense. I had to change my plan and work more in terms of evoking it. What does one feel to be in the streets of Mexico City?" The last picture in the book is a tree: life goes on.
This is a good book. A red clothed cover with an illustrated jacket adds a strong red to the book. It also has beautiful end papers. The photographs are reproduced using the sheet-fed gravure method on uncoated Japanese paper. Black and white images are reinforced by extra black colour. The book won a prize for the best photo book at the Photographic Spring Festival in Barcelona (1998) and Gold Eye of the Festival Des Trois Continents in France (1997).
Second edition of this book, published in Mexico City by Case de las Imagenes (with printing by Nissha Printing Co, Kyoto), was included in The Latin American Photobook.
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