Toronto specializing in contemporary photography

Alejandro Cartagena

Alejandro Cartagena

b. 1977, Dominican Republic / Mexico

Alejandro Cartagena lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico. His projects are primarily documentary based and employ landscape and portraiture to examine social, urban, and environmental issues in Latin America. His work also engages with a larger history of photography by reinterpreting or rethinking the ways in which poignant issues have been addressed or represented in the past. This has widened his works’ aesthetic and conceptual approach and added layers of meaning to his complex interpretations of our society.

Cartagena’s work has been exhibited internationally and is in public and private collections in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, and the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, the Portland Museum of Art, and the Museo de Arte Moderno in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Cartagena has published several award winning photobooks. His titles include Santa Barbara Shame on US (Skinnerboox, 2017), A Guide to Infrastructure and Corruption (The Velvet Cell, 2017), Rivers of Power (Newwer, 2016), Santa Barbara Return Jobs to US (Skinnerboox, 2016), Before the War (self-published, 2015), Carpoolers (self-published/FONCA 2014), and Suburbia Mexicana (Daylight/Photolucida 2011).

He is the recipient of several major national grants, numerous honorable mentions and acquisition prizes in Mexico and abroad including the Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino award in Chile, and the Premio IILA-Fotografia 2012 award in Rome. He has been named a FOAM Magazine “Talent” and one of PDN’s 30 “International Emerging Photographers To Watch”. He has also been a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Award and has been nominated for the Santa Fe Photography Prize, the Prix Pictet, the Photoespaña Descubrimientos Award, and the FOAM Paul Huff Award.

Cartagena’s work has been published internationally in magazines such as Newsweek, The New York Times Lens blog, Nowness, Domus, The Financial Times, View, The Guardian, le Monde, PDN, The New Yorker, The Independent, Monocle, Maclean’s, and Wallpaper.

Artist website:

Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Alejandro Cartagena – CV [PDF]


A Guide to Infrastructure and Corruption, The Velvet Cell, 2017
with a text by Ximena Peredo
Hardcover in Box, 192 pages
ISBN: 9781908889539

Santa Barbara Shame on US, Skinnerboox, 2017
with an introduction by Jonathan Blaustein
Hotfoil Velvet Softcover, 112 pages
ISBN: 9788894895056

Santa Barbara Return Jobs Back to US, Skinnerboox, 2016
with an introduction by Jonathan Blaustein
Hotfoil Velvet Softcover, 112 pages
ISBN: 9788894134124

carpoolers, Self-published / Fonca – Conaculta, 2014 / 2016
with a text Jessica McDonald
Hardcover, English, 112 pages
ISBN: 9780692226605
* First Edition (2014) SOLD OUT

Rivers of Power/Ríos de Poder, NEWWER / Cartagena, 2014
with texts by Ximena Peredo, Gonzalo Ortega
Softcover in Box, 144 pages
ISBN: 9780996669719

Suburbia Mexicana, Daylight Books / Photolucida, 2012
with texts by Gerardo Montiel Klint, Karen Irvine, and Lisa Uddin
Hardcover, English, 108 pages
ISBN: 9780983231608