Nereo López Meza, a well known and respected Colombian photographer, has spent 60 of his 86 years working for his country’s best newspapers and magazines, photographing personalities such as Gabriel García Márquez, Pope Paul IV, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.
But it is in his photographic essays, deep in the Amazon jungle, in the streets of Bogota, or up and down the Magdalena River (made famous by Mr. García Márquez’s Love in the Times of Cholera), where his genius is truly revealed. Nereo’s photographs are acknowledged as one of the most important visual accounts of the history of Colombia.
Meet Nereo in person, at the book release and signing for Nereo: Images from Half a Century, on August 21st at 7pm, at Barnes & Noble/Lincoln Triangle, 66th Street & Broadway. A reception will follow at the Consulate General of Colombia, 10 East 46th Street, from 8:30-10:30pm. For more information contact Editorial Campana, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-721-4062.
NEREO LÓPEZ MEZA, born in the colonial port of Catagena, is one of Colombia’s most respected photographers. He began his career as a film projectionist, quickly moving on to become regional manager of a film distribution company. A photography manual and correspondence course first piqued his interest in photography, and in 1952, he began working as a photographic correspondent for two national newspapers as well as for the magazine Cromos.
Among his accomplishments was his participation as director of photography and actor in the experimental film, La Langosta Azul (The Blue Lobster) in 1954, the screenwriting debut of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez. Nereo won First Prize at the International Photography Contest sponsored by Kodak at the 1963 World Fair in New York. He also was the only Colombian photographer selected to travel with Pope Paul VI on his trip to South America. In 1982, Nereo acted as the Official Photographic Representative of the Colombian Cultural Agency (Colcultura) in Stockholm, Sweden, where he covered the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and its presentation to Gabriel García Márquez.
His illustrious career was further recognized when the “Nereo Center for Photographic Education and Culture” opened in Bogotá in 1987. Nereo: A National Photographic Homage was published in 1998. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor by the Colombian Ministry of Culture (the highest honor for an artist in Colombia). In 2000, Colombian President Andrés Pastrana awarded Nereo with the Boyaca Order, the most important award granted by the Colombian government to Colombian citizens.