Héctor García Cobo

About the artist

1923 — 2012

Héctor García Cobo was a Mexican photographer and photojournalist who spent his career chronicling events in politics and the changing face of society in his native country. Having been born without money, García began taking pictures at eighteen with a camera that was gifted to him after release from a four-year stint in a young person's prison. At nineteen, he moved to the US and took a job working the railroads. When a colleague's body was discovered in the snow, after being hit by a train, García photographed it — only to find that the film didn't develop properly. He then applied himself seriously to the study of photography.

Back in Mexico City, García made friends with many of the most famous artists and intellectuals of the mid-twentieth century, including Frida Kahlo and the painter Diego Rivera. His wife was also a photographer. Across García's career, his work was published everywhere from Time magazine to Paris Match, Reuters and the Associated Press. García covered the student uprising of 1968, taking only three rolls of film due to police pressure. His work also came to incorporate social criticism, sometimes commenting on misogyny or warfare and the involvement of children in it, occasionally earning him censorship.

García was exhibited solo at least sixty-five times over the course of a glittering career, and his work can now be found everywhere from the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris to the Vatican museums. The García collection, founded in Mexico City, comprises more than one million images. García was a three-time winner of Mexico's National Journalism Award. An icon at home and abroad, he is one of the most celebrated, published and widely exhibited Mexican photographers of all-time. He died in 2012, aged eighty-eight.

Technical information

Image 1: Niño, 1950
Size: 28 x 35,5 cm 
Print techique: gelatin silver