Chile’s Industry from the Inside: Luis Ladrón de Guevara

Chile's industry on a personal scale. The work of photographer Luis Ladrón de Guevara meshes together the workers’ softness of human character with the rigid and metallic industrial background where they spend their days. Highly symmetric, Guevara’s images depict both the scale of the projects and the extreme nature of the work environment.

Luis Ladrón de Guevara
Photo by Colin Bennett

Guevara built a reputation for his work documenting workers and industrial sites with Chile’s largest and most influential companies, industries and government bodies. A small selection of his immense body of work was on display at the Centro Cultural Estacion Mapocho through the first week of May.

Luis Ladrón de Guevara at Estacion Mapocho
Luis Ladrón de Guevara - Courtesy of Estación Mapocho

The most enduring aspect of Guevara’s work is his ability to keep the focus on the human qualities of people in such immense and extreme man-made environments. Workers gathered for a coffee break before returning to the mine for their shift and others balanced precariously in the steel frame of a building give the viewer a clear sense of the worker's perspective. Although not on exhibit at the moment, Guevara has also shot a variety of close portraits with a range of people from rural sanitary inspectors to Salvador Allende himself.

Born in 1926 in Denmark to Chilean painter Laureano Guevara and a Danish journalist, Else Larsen, Guevara had a strong influence from both the world

Luis Ladrón de Guevara
Photo by Luis Ladrón de Guevara
Courtesy of Estación Mapocho

of art and communication from the start. This eventually led him to photography and in 1959 he started working for industrial companies as an independent photographer.

The exhibit might have been small, but it gave the viewer just enough to want to see more, and one can do so through Guevara’s well stocked Flickr account. But as is usually the case the printed photos gave the viewer a better sense of Guevara's work and Estación Mapocho, an industrial building itself, was a great setting to experience his viewpoint.

On Flickr:

Desde la Fotografía Industrial Hacia una Estética de la Producción
Luis Ladrón de Guevara
Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho
Plaza de la Cultura Metro Cal y Canto
Monday-Sunday 10am - 7pm

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