Antonio Gomez: States Project: Nevada
Antonio Gomez is a photographer based in Las Vegas, Nevada, who teaches at the College of Southern Nevada. We both attended the Palm Springs Photo Festival in 2012, and he introduced me to his series entitled Charro. These photographs document the Charreria, which is a culture, tradition, sport and art practiced in both Mexico and the United States. Antonio documents the Charreria in the border town between Nevada and California, Sandy Valley, Nevada. The photographs present men, women and children, many in beautifully elaborate outfits, participating in a cultural tradition of equestrian competitions, roping cattle, comradery, fashion, music, and food.
I asked Antonio why he chose to photograph the Charreria. “This is where I come from. As a boy, we would do rope tricks like these in the streets. , and I even wore one of these outfits when I got married. It’s something we have pride in, and it’s uplifting in the Mexican culture. Especially these days with immigration issues, when the culture scene is not so positive. The point is that this is tradition and we are trying to hold on to and something we feel proud of and instill this pride to our kids.”
Antonio Gomez came to the United States at age of 14, became recognized for his photographic storytelling skills, and has since been awarded numerous prizes as a fine art photographer. His work has been exhibited in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In 2014, National Geographic online magazine featured his series entitled The Las Vegas Boulevard Project . He received a Masters in Fine Art in 2001 and studied under internationally acclaimed photographers including Mary Ellen Mark, Joyce Tenneson, Keith Carter and Duane Michals. Currently, he is a photography professor at the College of Southern Nevada.
Gomez documents his surroundings, with a focus on the people from Mexico and their culture. Through photography, he feels that he is passing on the traditions of his culture to others. Occasionally, he travels to Mexico to continue documenting his beloved country.
After self-published three books, Gomez is currently working on his latest book Charro, a documentation focusing on the struggle of Mexicans who make it their mission to pass on equestrian precision and human nobility to the next generation. The book will be published by Tate Publishing Enterprises, LLC in 2016.
Charro, Portrait of a Way of Life
Charro, Portrait of a Way of Life, is an intimate look at the cultural hope to keep a Mexican tradition alive. The work shows how Charrería is more than a national sport of Mexico. It’s a festive spectacle of costume and ceremony that evokes enormous national pride for Mexicanos in their homeland or across borders. Charro, Portrait of a Way of Life is a study of the struggle of many Mexican immigrants who make it their mission to pass on equestrian precision and human nobility to the next generation.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.