cover image Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History

Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History

Elizabeth Ferrer. Univ. of Washington, $95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-295-74762-0; $34.95 trade paper ISBN 978-0-295-74763-7

Ferrer (Lola Alvarez Bravo), curator at Brooklyn’s BRIC art and media center, celebrates American Latinx photographers in the U.S. in this discerning and timely illustrated history. Introducing readers to more than 80 photographers and photojournalists who have helped document Latinx culture, Ferrer describes how “their work plays a crucial role in the process of documenting and informing, of constructing and imagining, a broader American history.” The book highlights mid-19th-century portraitist Epifania “Fanny” de Guadalupe Vallejo, who took daguerreotype photos of her family in California, as well as photojournalists at newspapers (among them, L.A.’s La Opinion and New York City’s El Diario La Prensa), who documented the rise of Latino consciousness and civil rights leaders in the 1960s. In 1970s New York City, Latin-American women and gay and lesbian photographers received attention for images of their communities, thanks in part to the collective En Foco (a 1970 photo by Roger Cabán shows a naked woman on a New York City subway platform, while one by René Gelpi captures a Puerto Rican gang member in 1971). By the 1980s, Los Angeles’s Chicano photographers were getting recognition for their work, as with Laura Aguilar’s Three Eagles Flying, a self-portrait in which she is bound and naked, flanked by the flags of the United States and Mexico. This revealing volume will appeal to scholars and anyone with an interest in Latinx art. (Nov.)