In a land where spectacular pyramids and sophisticated ancient cities “steal” the lamplight from everything else, it is easy to bypass the early churches “hidden in plain sight” in a myriad small towns. Yet they may be among the most dramatic examples of the mutual accommodation that took place between the talented indigenous artists and those who had brought a set of very different ideas from across the ocean. They tell a fascinating story that few have heard and I have conceived this project to let the tale be told to more people.
This project is personal. I am not affiliated with any institutions and therefore have no access to financing by any publisher or entity. The end result of the project would be the setting up of a dedicated website for the purpose of making available both the resulting images and some basic information about the buildings to be documented. A contemplated second use would be the production of a book.
This is the first phase of a broader project that seeks to document some of the earliest churches built in Mexico. I am looking for help in financing the cost of traveling to and photographing some 12 different churches in the States of Morelos and Puebla, in order to document their architecture, setting and art.
I envision working with a flexible list, in order to cover as wide a range of architectural and artistic features as possible, but some of the church/convento complexes that are already on it are Huejotzingo, Huaquechula, San Andrés Calpan, Tetela del Volcán, Ocuituco, Yecapixtla, Tlayacapan, Atlatlahucan, Totolapan and Tlaquiltengango.
Mexico’s world-famous Pre-Columbian archaeological heritage has left these fascinating and very important buildings literally in the shadow of Pre-Columbian pyramids. They have never received the attention they deserve, both as artistic monuments and as the earliest manifestations of the new identity that came out of the clash between European culture and the high civilizations of the Americas.
Jorge Pérez de Lara is a well-known photographer of Pre-Columbian archaeological subjects, art and architecture, who has also been a professional commercial photographer for over 30 years. Over the years, his work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, among which the following stand out:
- The Presidential Palace (several photographers, 1987)
- The Japanese Tea Ceremony (1987)
- Cathedral of Mexico (main photographer, 1992)
- Hidden Faces of the Maya (1998)
- The History of an Exceptional Artist – Beatriz Zamora (1999)
- The Maya – Sacred Kings of the Rainforest (several photographers, 2000, 2006)
- Theaters of Conversion (2001)
- Yucatecan Food at Los Almendros (2001)
- The Food of Puebla (2003)
- Courtly Arts of the Maya (several photographers 2004)
- Carlos Obregón Formoso, Architect (2004)
- National Museum of Anthropology (one of two main photographers 2005)
- The Captives of Dzibanché (main photographer 2005)
- Lords of Creation (photographer for Mexico and Central America, 2005)
- The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque – A commentary (2006)
- Mexican Popular Toys (2006)
- The Fiery Pool (photographer for Mexico and Central America, 2010).
- Children of the Plumed Serpent (photographer for Mexico, 2012).
- The Maya – Voices in Stone (main photographer, 2012).
Among the prestigious magazines in which his work has appeared include Archaeology, Arqueología Mexicana and Architectural Digest.
He was worked for many publishing houses over the years, both in Mexico and abroad, including Thames & Hudson, Tandem Verlag, University of New Mexico Press, INAH and UNAM.
This campaign is a flexible campaign– The campaign creator keeps all funds pledged regardless of whether or not the campaigns meets its stated funding goal.