About the Book
In 2007 I finished documenting audacious racing car drivers that practice the dangerous sport of FEVER in Puerto Rico. A year later, I exhibited these final images at the Universidad del Turabo’s museum and in 2011 at the Angel Ramos Foundation (both in Puerto Rico).
While in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America, NASCAR and FORMULA ONE race car drivers become mythological TV idols and are applauded by an audience of millions, in the impoverished Island of Enchantment (the folkloric name given to the island of Puerto Rico) the feats of our local pilots go unnoticed by the masses and are only applauded by a very small group of friends –intimately linked to this adrenaline filled sport. This is my tribute to our local “anonymous” stars.
With a vibrant color palette, representative of 21st Century’s digital technology, the photographs that integrate this visual ethnography illustrate the culture and subculture of FEVER, the psyche of the Puerto Rican machismo, the reggaeton girls, as well as the tragic death of “Misito La Pulga” (a very well known local race driver), among other dramatic scenes that portray angry metal dragons, chimeras spitting fire through their entrails, battling for the best times.
These twenty seven color photographs are collages composed, in PhotoShop ®, as diptychs, triptychs and multiple images in one. They have been printed as large format Giclées with an Epson Stylus Pro 9800 printer. One of the images measures over seventeen feet long, while others average four feet.
Héctor Méndez Caratini was born in San Juan, PR in 1949. During the past four decades the photographer and video artist has documented and promoted the cultural heritage of his nation. His artistic work has been exhibited in more than one hundred prestigious museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. His photographs are in the permanent collection of various museums. Such as: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX); International Center of Photography (New York, NY); Center for Creative Photography (Tucson) AZ; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, PR); Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, PR); among others. He has received numerous distinctions during his professional career, such as: the first Honorific Mention of the Casa de las Américas Photo Essay Prize, 1981, La Habana, Cuba; the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award (Photographic Resource Center, B