Dulce Pinzón

The Real Story of The Superheroes

November 12 – December 23, 2007

Following September 11, the term hero rose within the national consciousness.

The notion of the hero served our country’s need during a time of national and global crisis and enabled us to acknowledge those who showed extraordinary courage or determination in the face of danger, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others.

In the shadow of the events of 9/11 and those which followed, I became interested in heroes who sacrifice immeasurable life and labor in their day-to-day lives for the good of others, but who do so in a somewhat less spectacular setting. The Mexican immigrant worker in New York City is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker based in New York City to work extraordinary hours in extreme conditions for very low wages. They subsequently save those wages at a great cost and sacrifice to themselves and send them to their families and communities in Mexico who rely on their heroism to survive.

The Mexican economy has quietly become dependent on the money sent from workers in the United States. Conversely, the United States economy has quietly become dependant on the labor of Mexican immigrants. Along with the depth of their sacrifice, it is this unspoken dependence which makes the Mexican immigrant workers a subject of interest to me.

“The Real Story of the Superheroes” pays homage to these brave and determined individuals that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural powers, to withstand extreme conditions in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper.

This project will consist of color photographs of Latino immigrants dressed in the costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes. Each portrait depicts the worker dressed as a superhero within their work environment, and is accompanied by a short text including the worker’s name, their hometown in Mexico, the number of years they have been working in New York, and the amount of money they send to Mexico each week.

– Dulce Pinzón, 2007

Dulce Pinzón was born in Mexico City in 1974. She attended the Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico where she studied Mass Media Communications and earned a MFA in photography from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 1995 she moved to New York where she studied at The International Center of Photography. As a young Mexican artist living in the United States, Dulce soon found new inspiration for her photography in feelings of nostalgia, questions of identity, and political and cultural frustrations.

Pinzón’s work has been exhibited internationally including group and solo shows in Mexico, the United States, Australia, Argentina, and throughout Europe. Her images have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian UK, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and others.In 2001 one of her images was used for the cover of a reprinting of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Pinzón has received various grants including the prestigious Jovenes Creadores Grant in 2002 and a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship grant in photography. “The Real Story of the Superheroes” series was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the Santa Fe Project Competition in 2006. Pinzón currently resides in Brooklyn.