Portfolio: Lourdes Grobet
With its blend of high-flying manoeuvres, outlandish costumes and pageantry rooted in ancient culture, lucha libre – aka the raucous world of Mexican wrestling – has been a bedrock of its homeland ever since the silver-masked fighter El Santo stepped into the ring in 1942 and became the sport's first superstar, complete with mask and carefully controlled anonymity.
It is a world that the photographer Lourdes Grobet grew up watching on TV, and which she has been documenting for more than 20 years. "I was a fan of wrestling since I was a child," she explains, "but my father wouldn't let me attend – so becoming a photographer was a way of exploring that world."
What Grobet discovered was that what might appear to be a simple wrestling match was, in fact, a melting pot of indigenous cultural practices, with the ritual of adopting a mask going back as far as the Aztecs. Yet, to her surprise, "There was little published about this important element of Mexican culture."
Her resulting project spans several decades and documents the lives of these luchadores in and out of the ring, including shots of them relaxing at home in scenes of domesticity contrasting wildly with their glittering, shiny outfits. "While their costumes are a reflection of their character, it's their job to be part of a show. And out of the arena, they are just like us."
Sixteen of Grobet's images will be on view at London Mexfest, which runs from Friday to Sunday as part of the Shoreditch Fringe Festival. Visit www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/festival/london-mexfest/
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 2 London council removes 'unacceptable' Stamford Hill posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan in new celebrity hacking attack weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea's 'Booty' music video is just a load of butts
Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'