Lourdes Grobet, Mexican artist and photographer who intimately chronicled the lives of traditional wrestlers, dies at 81

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Lourdes Gorbet

Born to a Swiss-Mexican family, Lourdes Grobet was one of Mexico’s most prolific artists, with a body of work spanning more than six decades. She died last week on 15th July, at the age of 81. Though her oeuvre was wide-ranging, she was best known for her photography projects that pushed boundaries through their intimacy and breadth, serving as tributes to both their subjects and viewers, while influencing younger generations of Mexican artists.

An artwork by Grobet; Colourful Landscapes

Grobet began chronicling lucha libre — Mexican professional wrestling — in the 1980s, demystifying star athletes without undercutting the uncanniness that sets them apart. Male and female wrestlers — whom she called la doble lucha, or the two-way struggle — were photographed in intimate settings and even arranged as if for a mundane family portrait, but still disguised in fantastic costumes.

Photo of the Lucha Libre

Grobet’s publications include 2005’s “Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling” and her images can be found in the collections of the Fundación Cultural Televisa and Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; and Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, among elsewhere. Read more on Far Out Magazine.