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date: 16 December 2019

Chambi [de Coaza], Martín locked

(b Coaza, nr Puno, 1891; d Cuzco, 1973).
  • Erika Billeter


(b Coaza, nr Puno, 1891; d Cuzco, 1973).

Peruvian photographer. The only major photographer of Latin American Indian origin in his time, he gained international recognition only after his death. As a boy he was fascinated by photography, about which he learnt in the studio of Max T. Vargas in Arequipa in 1908. In 1920 he opened a studio in Cuzco, which became the base for his examination of Inca culture. Like the radical intellectuals of the ‘indigenous’ movement with which he was associated, he believed that his country’s true spirit lay with the Indian population. He was motivated, however, not just by documentary concerns but by pictorial ones; his experimentation with light sources can be directly related to his interest in Rembrandt’s paintings. His growing posthumous reputation is largely due to the work of his son, Victor Chambi (b 1917), who on his father’s death began printing some of his 18,000 glass negatives.

Chambi, Martín...

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