A landmark survey of one of the most significant American photographers of the twentieth century. Best known for his intimate portrayals of barrio communities of the Southwest United States, Louis Carlos Bernal made photographs in the late 1970s and 1980s that draw upon the resonance of Catholicism, Indigenous beliefs, and popular practices tied to the land. For Bernal, photography was a potent tool in affirming the value of individuals and communities who lacked visibility and agency. Working in both black and white and in color, he photographed the interiors of homes and their inhabitants, often presenting his subjects surrounded by the objects they lived with—framed portraits of family members, religious pictures and statuaries, small shrines festooned with flowers, and elements of contemporary popular culture. Bernal viewed these spaces as rich with personal, cultural, and spiritual meaning, and his unforgettable photographs express a vision of la vida cotidiana (everyday life) as a state of grace. The first major scholarly account of Bernal’s life and work by the esteemed historian Elizabeth Ferrer, Louis Carlos Bernal: Monografía is the definitive book about an essential photographic artist.


"Louis Carlos Bernal: Monografía is a must-have for aficionados of photography and Latinx art, providing a comprehensive look at a seminal artist whose work continues to inspire and resonate. This book not only commemorates the legacy of Louis Carlos Bernal but also amplifies the voices and visions of the Chicano community he so beautifully portrayed." — Latino Book Review.


Louis Carlos Bernal (born in Douglas, Arizona, 1941; died in Tucson, 1993) was a pioneering Chicano photographer active in the last quarter of the twentieth century, maturing as an artist in the wake of the 1970s civil rights era. After completing his MFA at Arizona State University in 1972, he joined the faculty of Pima Community College in Tucson, where he developed and led its photography program, and remained for the duration of his career. The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson, preserves the Louis Carlos Bernal Archive, including fine prints, project records, correspondence, and clippings.

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