Carlos Alvarez Montero is a Mexico City-based photographer. SCARS is a series composed of 20 portraits of Mexico City locals that decided to engrave ink marks on their neck/face as a statement of their life experiences.
In 2006 I started working on a series (M of Michoacan) about gang culture in small towns in Mexico as a result of the immigration phenomenon. During this time I met Jimmy “El Pinto” Lopez, an OG from a small town in Michoacán, México; he has tattoos all over his body, head and face. When I asked him about their meaning he said, “They are the marks of a warrior, of wars I have fought, so, when someone sees me on the streets they know I’m ready to fight”. This quote kept spinning in my head for a while until I finally decided to make a series of portraits focusing on the relationship between tattoos and the people who have them; tattoos as self-inflicted scars that change and define how they are perceived. I chose subjects that had tattooed their neck, head and/or face, as they can’t be hidden, taking their commitment to the highest level.—Carlos Alvarez Montero