Chilean photographer Marcelo Montecino (1943) is one of the few photographers to have consistently documented Chilean political events, from Allende’s government to the return of democracy.
His most emblematic images are the funeral of Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, which marked the first protest against the military regime. One of Montecino’s other principal themes is the city of Santiago which he documented with a gentle and loving gaze throughout the years of violent turmoil.
Montecino’s photojournalistic career began on September 11, 1973, the day the democratic government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by the military junta headed by Augusto Pinochet. That day, Montecino understood he could denounce human rights violations throughout Latin America through his photographs and became a photojournalist for the next 15 years. Montecino covered the important events that shaped the history of Latin America: the coup in Chile, the wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala. He contributed to various U.S. news services and publications such as: Newsweek; The Washington Post Magazine; Playboy; The Financial Times. In 1981, Montecino published Con Sangre en el Ojo, which won first prize in the Proceso Nuevo Imagen journalism competition, with a jury comprised of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Julio Córtazar, Ariel Dorfman, and others. He has since then published another eight books of his work. In May 2012, Montecino was awarded the “Premio Altazor,” Chile’s most important prize, honoring his photographic exhibition, “Santiago, jpeg.”
Montecino’s work is included in important international museum collections: New York State Museum, Albany, N.Y.; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Memory, Santiago, Chile; Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid.
Exhibited internationally since 1971, Montecino’s work was included in important group and solo shows, such as: "Irredimible", Museo de la Memoria, Santiago, 2011; "Santiago, jpeg," Museum of Contemporary Art, Santiago, Chile, 2003; "Retrospective," Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, 1971; “America Latina:1960-2013”’ Foundation Cartier, Paris, France, 2014; "Chile, 30 Years," Perpignan Festival of photojournalism, 2003, Perpignan, France; "Chile From Within," a traveling exhibition curated by Susan Meiselas about the struggle against the military regime. 1992-2000.