The most respected names in photography in Colombia are participating in the 11th edition of the art auction Subasta de Arte de los Héroes organized by the Corporación Matamoros, a non-profit that raises money to help the families of Colombian service men and women killed or injured in combat.

This is the first time that the art auction has focused exclusively on photography – and works from Colombia’s photographic greats – Leo Matiz, Carlos Caicedo and Nereo López will go under the auctioneer’s gavel.

Matíz, Caicedo and López covered the 20th century with their twin reflex cameras and when a roll of black and white film was a luxury in the tropics. But they went out to capture a country that was embracing modernity in the cities, yet was staunchly rural.

Leo Matíz set his eyes on the people of the coast, from first acrobats in makeshift circuses that roamed the hamlets of Macondo, the fictional literary landscape immortalized in One Hundred Years of Solitude by Nobel Gabriel García Márquez. As a contemporary of Matíz, the Barranquilla born Nereo López captured some of the most iconic images of a Colombia that was making a leap towards the industrial age, yet revered the traditions of its farmers, coal miners, fishermen. López’s began taking striking portraits of the fishermen of the Magdalena River near Barrancabermeja, the port city where he ran a photography studio. The candid street photography of Carlos Caicedo graced many frontpages of Colombia’s leading dailies – El Tiempo and El Espectador – and is widely considered one of the pioneers of photojournalism in this country.

Two international photojournalists, Richard Emblin and Malcolm Linton, and who were both represented by the New York-based Black Star photo agency have been invited to put up a work up for the auction that takes place Tuesday, May 2.

Among the photographers that are participating in this 11th edition are: Sergio Bertelsman, Camilo George, Rossina Bossio, Laura Feged, Javier Vanegas, Manu Mojito, Fernando Cano, Mauricio Vélez, Erwin Kraus, Diego Amaral, Abdu Eljaiek, Oscar Monsalve, Andres Anazola, Santiago Harker, Hernan Díaz, Sady Gonzalez, among many others.

The auction will be held in the Grand Salon of the Club El Nogal at 7pm. So, if you are willing to wear a tie (formal dress code at this respected club) and browse some fine works of photography, participate in an important event that directly helps Colombia’s many heroes.

El Nogal – Cra 7 No.78-96