Blood, death and toy cars: how the Mexican Weegee makes sense of a violent world

Blood, death and toy cars: how the Mexican Weegee makes sense of a violent worldAugust 26, 2020

Enrique Metinides was the greatest photographer of car crashes, crime scenes and disasters for Mexico’s sensational nota roja newspapers. He describes his life in the company of death, and why he collects emergency service toys

Looking casually dapper in a grey zip cardigan, Enrique Metinides leads me up to his modest apartment in Mexico City. Now in his 80s, the frail but chatty former photojournalist, celebrated for his images of crime and catastrophe, is often called the Weegee of Mexico, after his American counterpart, who gained notoriety for training his lens on the tragic scenes encountered by New York’s police, fire and ambulance services.

I had been a fan since 2003, when I first saw Metinides’ work in a group show in New York. The images disturbed and electrified me, in particular one of a dead woman who had been struck by a car, sprawled askew with an almost glamorous languor. Metinides was, as film-maker Trisha Ziff titled her 2016 documentary, The Man Who Saw Too Much.

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