|Mexican photographer Rodrigo Moya covered political unrest throughout Latin America during the 1950s and 1960s. As a young photographer, he discovered the work of Walker Evans, Lewis Hine, Robert Frank, Eugene Smith, Dorothea Lange and the Farm Security Administration (FSA), as well as American magazines, such as American Photography, US Camera and Life, and was influenced by Mexican photographer Nacho López. Part photojournalist, part street photographer, Moya brought the human cost of civil and military uprisings and the people who lived through these turbulent times to the pages of magazines such as Impacto, El Espectador, Politica, Sucesos and Siempre! Much of the photographer’s work draws deeply from the lives and aspirations of the rural and working classes he encountered while working as a writer and photojournalist throughout Mexico and Latin American for more than three decades. While in Cuba, Moya took a series of photographs of Ché Guevara, and in 1965, he was the only Latin American photographer to cover the invasion of the Dominican Republic and the battle for Santo Domingo. Although he never considered himself a war photographer, the social conflicts created by brutal dictatorial regimes found expression through his camera. Throughout his career, he used his assignments as opportunities to photograph subjects he found personally interesting or moving.
In 1967, Moya ended his photography career and started a small publishing enterprise, eventually becoming an acclaimed writer of short fiction. He wrote de lo que pudo haber sido (What Could Have Been in 1996, and the book Cuentos para leer junto al mar (Tales to be Read by the Sea), which won a Mexican national literary award in 1997. Recently, after overcoming a serious illness, he rediscovered photography. His work has been the subject of publications, including Fuera de Moda: Homenaje: Obra Fotografica, 1955-1968 (2002); a monograph Rodrigo Moya; foto insurrecta (2005); and Rodrigo Moya: Una Vision Critica De La Modernidad (2006). In 2007, he was awarded the Medal of Photographic Merit by Mexico’s National System of Photographic Archives. In 2009 he was the subject of a documentary film Conciencia de luz: Rodrigo Moya, Fotógrafo.
Rodrigo Moya’s work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Wittliff Collections, and the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.