Cover of Colonial Noir by Reid Samuel Yalom
Colonial Noir
Photographs from Mexico
Reid Samuel Yalom


120 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804745369



Using the expansive vernacular of black and white night photography to modify the antiquarian sensibility ordinarily brought to the study of Mexico's colonial architectures, Colonial Noir brings together the unsettling tenor of Mexico's colonial legacies with the ambiguous landscape of noir. Set against the backdrop of Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, the images in this collection draw on the aesthetics of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism to create the collection's existential tone—where the innuendo of chiaroscuro becomes an analog to the tenuous relationship between Mexico's celebrated cultural plurality and its nefarious colonial history.

Composed over a period of five years, the images in this collection reflect elements of Reid Samuel Yalom's background in modernist architectural photography and bear the subtle influence of Mexican works by Edward Weston and Paul Strand. The images also pay homage to the work of George Brassai and collections of Guillermo Kahlo and Henry Ravell that celebrate the architectural landscape of colonial Mexico. The book includes an essay by Frederick Luis Aldama, which uses ephemera of personal experience and elements of Latin American literary culture to provide an interpretive window into Yalom's work, and it includes an introduction by Santhosh Daniel, which places Yalom's work in the context of the history of photographic work on Mexico. The book also includes a foreword by the photographer Mark Citret.

About the author

Reid Samuel Yalom is a San Francisco-based photographer who shares his time between commercial and fine-art photography. His work is represented by a number of galleries, including Scott Nichols in San Francisco, S K Josefsberg in Portland, Oregon, and Kennedy Boesky in New York.

"Through his impeccable photographic craft and, more important, his personal sensibility and insight, Yalom gives viewers of this book an eloquent look at Mexico that they will find nowhere else."

—Mark Citret