Pedro E Guerrero, photographing Taliesin West (Raul J. Garcia)
My mentor and friend for the last 7 years, Pedro Guerrero, died in his home with family at his side, last week at the age of 95. Pedro was an accomplished photographer whose career began after studying at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. Shortly after returning home from school in 1939, he started working for Frank Lloyd Wright, and documented his life, his communal school of architecture (Taliesin and Taliesin West), and his works up until his death in 1959. He later documented the work and lives of artists Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson, as well as mid-century architects such as Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Edward Durrell Stone and Philip Johnson.
When I met him in 2005, he was retired and living in his winter home in the town of Florence, AZ. I came to admire and cherish our friendship from our first meeting, and would always look forward to visiting when in the area.
Pedro’s unobtrusive approach to documenting the pure essence of his subjects without changing them into a blatant display of his own photographic skill, yet still presenting the subject in a beautiful and striking way, was no accident. It may have been brought to fruition by Wright’s instruction to him on how he wanted his work to be captured, but Pedro mastered it, and he undoubtedly influenced my own approach and view on photographing architecture.
To learn more about Pedro and his work, please see a great NY Times obituary piece written about him here.
I am saddened by his passing, but also grateful for having had the chance to get to know him and become friends with him, for the hours he spent talking with me, his honest, unapologetic critiques/encouragement, and for his large contribution to photography and architecture as a whole. My condolences go to his wife and family.