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Alejandro Lugo (United States, born Mexico, b. 1962) is an anthropologist and documentary photographer of the US/Mexico border. He uses his camera to compose images of everyday scenes with strong symbolism. He also plays with language; for example, Lugo’s series Cruces pairs the meaning of los cruces (crossings) with las cruces (crosses).
In one photograph in the collection, a memorial cross at the vehicle border entry to El Paso, Texas chronicles numerous instances and known victims of femicide, the heinous act of gender-based violence against working-class women and girls in Ciudad Juárez that has been ongoing since 1993.
In another photograph, a Mexican couple dances in front of a large bronze monument in Chandler, Arizona built to commemorate the city’s US settlers.
Lugo compares the image to Grant Wood’s iconic painting American Gothic but with a meaningful difference: the family is pictured de espaldas, from the back.
Lugo was professor of Anthropology and Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois from 1995 to 2018. His photographs can also be found in the collection of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.