Sergio Larraín

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Sergio Larraín Echeñique (1931 – 7 February 2012) was a Chilean photographer.[1][2] He was a member of Magnum Photos during the 1960s.[3] He is considered the most important Chilean photographer in history,[3][4] making street photography, often of street children, using "shadow and angles in a way few had tried before."[1]

Photographs he took in Paris by Notre Dame Cathedral, which revealed scenes of a couple only upon processing, became the basis for Julio Cortázar's story, "Las Babas del Diablo", "The Devil's Drool", which in turn inspired Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup.[5]

Life and work[edit]

Larraín was born in 1931 in Santiago,[1][3] into one of Chile's wealthiest families.[2] He joined Magnum Photos as an associate in 1959 and became a full member in 1961.[3] He worked professionally for a little over ten years, stopping in 1972.[1][3] Larraín is best known for his street photography,[1] often of street children,[3] "and use of shadow and angles in a way few had tried before."[1]

Following the Bolivian guru Oscar Ichazo, he retreated from public and professional life to live in a Chilean mountain village, Tulahuén, and at an even more remote refuge that he built, taking up calligraphy and meditation.[2][1] He also wrote and continued to make personal photography, including that of the Chilean port of Valparaíso.[2] He died in 2012 at the age of 80.[1]

Publications by Larraín[edit]

  • Sergio Larrain: London 1958–59. Stockport: Dewi Lewis, 1988. ISBN 9781899235711.
  • Sergio Larrain: Photographs by Sergio Larrain. New York: Aperture, 2013. ISBN 978-1-59711-259-8. Edited and with text by Agnès Sire, and with an essay by Gonzalo Leiva Quijada.
  • Valparaiso. New York: Aperture, 2017. ISBN 978-1597114134. With texts by Larraín, Pablo Neruda and Agnès Sire.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Usborne, Simon (11 March 2016). "Sergio Larrain was on the cusp of photographic greatness but gave it all up for a spiritual life". London: The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Willis, Simon (20 January 2017). "Sergio Larraín: the poet of Valparaiso". London: The Financial Times. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Life on the Streets: Sergio Larrain at Rencontres". Time. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Fallece Sergio Larraín, el mítico fotógrafo chileno que renunció al mundo". La Tercera. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  5. ^ Amanda Hopkinson (24 February 2012). "Sergio Larrain obituary". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2012.

External links[edit]