By Troy-Jeffrey Allen
I remain fascinated by lucha libre culture. Not just because of the fact that what these men and women do in the ring is undeniably, jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring, but because of how far these gravity-defying athletes will go to maintain their wrestling persona in real life.
If you’re not familiar with the world of lucha libre, it is a subgenre of professional wrestling popularized in Mexico. Like most wrestlers before the late 1990s, luchadors are supposed to conceal their personal lives from the public. However, unlike American wrestlers in this day and age, luchas continue to maintain that once unbreakable line between reality and fiction — upholding the long respected tradition of shrouding their visage from the public by constantly sporting their elaborately designed masks.
As a sort of testament to this (and how real it gets), Mexican photographer Lourdes Grobet has accumulated over 25 years of photos featuring Mexican wrestlers outside of the ring. Remezcla.com recently spotlighted Grobet’s two-plus decades worth of images and what she has documented is mesmerizing and outright surreal.
Father and warrior, the masked wrestler is the perfect metaphor for the duality that Grobet’s photography wants to depict. Her work is resonant because she doesn’t try to demolish the myths that envelop lucha libre – she simply nurtures and expands them in an offbeat way. “The first time I went to see lucha libre was very shocking,” said Grobet in an interview. “Then I realized this is the Mexico I was interested in, the true Mexico. Not the rural one, but the Mexico growing in an urban context.”
I’ve included a few images of Lourdes’ work below, but you should definitely check out the intriguing yet all to brief article about her work over Remezcla.com HERE.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes about action/adventure for Action A Go Go. He is a comic book writer whose works include BamnComics.com, The Magic Bullet, Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse of Tall Tales, and the Harvey Award nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for ComicBookBin.com, OfNote Magazine, and ForcesOfGeek.com. His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post. Yes, he wrote this bio.