Juan Chrisostomo Mendez

Juan Crisostomo Mendez (1885-1962) was born in the City of Puebla in 1885. He went to Saint Bernardine, a catholic institution. He entered the School of Arts and Crafts where he studied drawing, sketching and where he first developed a passion for architectural art.
In 1900, at the age of fifteen, Juan Mendez became an apprentice at the German hardware store “Soomer and Herman”, renown for its extensive stock of electric appliances, optics, photographic material and industrial spare parts and materials.

As an amateur photographer, Mendez used the services of the American Photo Supply, a Kodak dealer in town. Later on, in that place he met other photographers most of them studio photographers, located in downtown Puebla. A. Bustamante, Josaphat Martinez, Mariano Tagle, J. Bianchini, Robles, Carlos Rivero were some of the photographers he frequented the most. All of them became popular for more than fifty years.

However, Mendez never established a commercial studio. It is possible that his education and skills in photography were obtained at the School of Arts and Crafts.
Later he became a self educated photographer through professional literature.

During 1920/1930 the citizne of Puebla were influenced by the strict mores of the largely Catholic population. Forcing many photographers to produce sensual provocative photographs in secret. For decades Juan was one of them. In his own way he tried to explore the sensual aspects, nowadays these would be referred to as fetish (stockings, shoes, submissive poses).