We’re thrilled to be publishing SLAM: Lucha Libre’s Superheroes Of The Ring! Designed by Fuel, it’s a beautiful photographic book by Katinka Herbert on the stars of Mexican wrestling.
Katinka tells us why she took these photographs:
“It must have just evolved out of my less than holy upbringing with circus freaks, soft porn flicks and Evel Knievel, but that’s another story.
“Yet maybe all this matters. Maybe meeting so many unusual people as I grew up made me want to take their picture to stoke those memories. Maybe this is why I’m drawn to the comic farce of Lucha Libre, where the crowd bays for blood as pit-bull men in neon underpants and hand-knitted sequin leggings grapple each other, like that iconic fireside wrestling scene from Ken Russell’s Women in Love.
“Yet the odd thing is, they wear masks. Here I am, a photographer, fascinated by what I can’t see rather than what I can. But it’s still there, in the eyes, as all portraits are. Sometimes they stare, sometimes they flirt and I flirt back. Their relationship to the camera is one of trust. As I hide behind my lens, their character emerges as if less conscious of my presence. They perform. It’s in their bones, beaten over time and worn on the face, never to be seen. Beneath this veil, they are a mess, their forehead a riot of scar tissue, a trophy to a life of self-harm.”
Katinka Herbert is a respected international portrait photographer whose work regularly appears in publications such as the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph, Food Illustrated and Dazed and Confused. Raised on a diet of Giant haystacks and Big Daddy, with a pinch of Evel Knievel, Katinka also recently collaborated with Marco Pierre White on the production of The Best of British cook book. This is her first photography book.