If you know Dough Menuez’s work you will enjoy this fabulous series “Heaven, Earth, Tequila: Un viaje al corazon de Mexico” published in a book. If you have never seen his work, get ready for a pleasant surprise. See the images in MediStorm and with a audio commentary by the photographer at NikonWorld. A very interesting interview was published at cretivepro.com. Doug Menuez is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens. PDN gallery has also audio clips with the photographer.
“I think if there is any core to my work, it is the search for what we all have in common. I am a student of human behaviour; I like to tell stories and capture emotion”
“Someone told me that the only thing all Mexicans have in common is tequila. Mexico is a mix of Indian, Spanish, German, French and American culture — there are so many influences. It’s a complex place, but tequila is one thing everyone has. Tequila is entwined in the family; in Mexico, if there’s a serious family discussion going on, you bring out the tequila, the way you would wine in Europe.”- Doug Menuez
Heaven, Earth, Tequila: Un Viaje al Corazón de México is a journey of discovery into the heart and soul of Mexico. What started as an exploration of the 9,000-year tradition of tequila fermentation paints a colorful tableau of the culture, pride and passion of Mexican people.
Over the past four years, award-winning photographer Douglas Menuez traveled through Jalisco state documenting the traditions from which tequila is born, from the history of the agave plant to how its most famous product became a symbol of Mexico.
Through a series of remarkable images and sometimes overly romantic observations, award-winning photographer Menuez reveals the labor and love inherent in Tequila production, from harvesting and processing blue agave to distilling the liquor that here takes on a near mythic stature. Menuez spends a significant amount of time in Jalisco state, near the town of Tequila, where he and a friend visit agave fields, tequila distilleries and a bar where bull fighters hang out. Along the way, Menuez rediscovers the beauty of Mexico, a place he had visited but never truly known, “an enduring, ancient place, where 500 years after the European conquest, the spirit, pride, and passion of the people continue undiminished.” His photographs are stunning: agave harvesters, for instance, silhouetted against a golden sky; haunting: men engaged in back-breaking (and for readers, eye-opening) work in the distilleries; celebratory: men and women drinking, laughing and dancing. The spare text, which includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-nominated novelist Victor Villasenor (Burro Genius) and a tequila guide by Ian Chadwick, wavers between truncated observation and sentimental yearnings, but this book’s greatest-and most plentiful-rewards are its photos. 70 b&w and color photos.