Héctor García, el fotógrafo de la calle

“Entrada de artistas”, Ciudad de México, 1958

Ciudad de México.- Héctor García fue un hombre que conoció a plenitud la capital mexicana, se dedicó a recorrer sus calles con cuerpo y cámara, retratando así los contrastes de nuestra urbe. Por su lente atravesaron de igual manera, farándula y opulencia, pobreza y desigualdad.

Comenzó a caminarla desde niño y aprendió, a la mala, cómo transitar por las calles para conseguir alimento. Años más tarde reconoció a uno de los hombres que lo había invitado a su mesa en varias ocasiones y que le había ayudado con una moneda, era Gerardo Murillo (Dr. Atl) y pudo recordarle —ya como fotógrafo— que ese pequeño niño vendedor de chicles había sido él.

Sin embargo, el mayor conflicto de García no fue salirse de casa, aprender a ganar su alimento ni buscar un lugar para dormir, sino su ingreso al Tribunal para Menores, donde permaneció recluido durante cinco años. Paradójicamente, fue en ese lugar donde aprendió sus más grandes lecciones, y el que lo acercó por primera vez a la fotografía.

Fue ahí donde conoció al médico que lo llevó a las lagunas de Zempoala y le regaló su primera cámara para retratar el paisaje. Fue dicho doctor quien lo ayudó a obtener empleo en una revista y a ingresar en la Academia de Ciencias y Artes en donde conocería a Manuel Álvarez Bravo.

El trabajo de García estuvo siempre enfocado en la documentación. Él mismo se definió como un fotoperiodista, como un fotógrafo que no aspiraba a otra cosa que no fuera mostrar la vida como la viven los otros. Siempre rechazó la idea de ver sus fotografías como imágenes artísticas, porque su intención era comunicar, documentar, denunciar.

Recorrió de manera exhaustiva los lugares en los cuales pudiera encontrar situaciones y personas dignas de ser captadas por su lente. Con su cámara dio voz a quienes no alcanzaban a ser escuchados.

El “fotógrafo de la Ciudad” siempre estuvo consciente de sus orígenes, por lo que nunca olvidó a quienes sufrían de las mismas carencias que él había padecido. Sus fotografías muestran los movimientos sociales y la vida cotidiana del país, retratan a los trabajadores y ponen énfasis en esos niños que se cruzaron en su camino y que —quizá— le recordaron la difícil infancia que compartió con ellos.

García estuvo también en contacto con los muralistas y artistas plásticos de su época y conoció a los actores más importantes del cine mexicano. Sus retratos de estos personajes se volvieron icónicos por mostrar un punto de vista diferente al habitual.

A pesar de la importancia primordial del fondo en sus fotografías y de su preocupación por el contenido más que por la estética, sus imágenes no dejan de ser atractivas, tienen una exposición adecuada y son muestra de sus conocimientos técnicos. El blanco y negro otorgó un gran dramatismo a sus imágenes, fue su modo de expresar el contraste en el que nos encontramos sumidos.

Su sensibilidad le permitió acercarse a las personas para capturar situaciones cotidianas a las que enmarcó un toque de ironía natural, nunca fabricada. Buscó en las calles, de manera exhaustiva, los detalles que hacían al espacio incongruente, distinto, y una vez encontrados, los capturó para ser mostrados a aquellos que no se habían detenido a mirarlos.

“Caminando, descubrí la ciudad, pero antes pude abarcarla desde los aires”, dijo alguna vez. Seguramente ahora —liberado de su cuerpo ya viejo— volverá a recorrer, abarcándola desde los aires, ésta, su ciudad.

RMM/GSS

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