Enrique Metinides

Anton Kern Gallery

Visitors to Enrique Metinides’s recent show at Anton Kern Gallery were greeted by a sign warning, “Due to gruesome content parental discretion is advised.” The admonition was something of an oddity—not just because of its unexpected deployment amid the array of “inappropriate” things on view in Chelsea at any given time, but because it seemed to have more to do with the reputation of the artist’s lurid métier than with the carefully considered, generally restrained work actually shown here.

Metinides was Mexico’s most famous and finest crime photographer, a man who spent fifty years documenting violence and death for the millions who follow la nota roja, or “the bloody news.” A precocious child known even today, in his seventies, as “El Niño” (The Kid), Metinides spent his youth tagging along with fire trucks and photojournalists and reportedly snapped his first picture of a corpse when

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