Gallery AZUL Presents
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 6pm-10pm
Lucha Libre (Free fight) began in the 1930s in Mexico. It took place in small venues all around Mexico, however the origins of lucha libre proper, dates as far back as 1863. Salavador Lutteroth Gonzalez created La Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre, he hired wrestlers from the Texas area to compete in Mexico, these wrestlers along with their moves, costumes, and masks helped to form Lucha Libre.
The lucha libre mask has its own history, which apparently dates back to 1933. A wrestler by the name of El Ciclón McKey commissioned Don Antonio Martinez to make him a mask for his upcoming fight. The mask, was almost impossible to pull off mid-fight, and left mark on the history of the lucha libre, and resulted in a wave of copycat enmascarados.
The 50s and 60s are considered the Golden Age of Lucha Libre and was probably spurred on by the huge popularity of El Santo, one of Mexican wrestling’s most legendary and beloved names. El Santo maintained his mask throughout his career which originated in t 1942, his true identity was revealed shortly before his death in 1984. He was buried wearing his trademark silver mask. He, along with the advent of television, helped launch the lucha libre into the home of the common man as fights started to be broadcast nationwide.
Other luchadores that have had as an impact on the art similar to El Santo include Blue Demon, Mil Máscaras (one of the first wrestlers to cross over into the US wrestling spectacles) and Huracán Ramírez (who put his own twist on the classic rana move, calling it the huracán rana).
Many wrestlers have a family history in the industry, inheriting both the mask and title of their forebear before stepping into the ring themselves. Some include El Hijo del Santo, is the son of El Santo, and Rey Mysterio Jr. is the great-nephew of Rey Mysterio, whereas Hijo de Rey Mysterio is his son. A strange twist to this familial tale though is that Villano IV is the fifth son of Ray Mendoza, whereas Villano V is rather confusingly the fourth!
Artists created art inspired by Lucha Libre.