Alumni Jaime Permuth never forgot the day 20 years ago when he met Olmedo Renteria on the subway. How could he? With his tuxedo, red shirt and courtly manner, Mr. Renteria cut quite a figure among the weary commuters. But after that first encounter, he disappeared, which is not unusual.
After decades of performing on television in Ecuador, renowned magician Olmedo Renteria — aka Olmedini El Mago — arrived in New York to showcase his talents to audiences commuting on the city’s subways.
Mr. Permuth, a Guatemalan photographer in New York, was smitten. He set out to find the magician, whom he located through social media. “Is this Olmedini?” he asked when they met face to face. “He was quiet and then said, ‘At your service.’ It was such an old-fashioned voice coming from another place and time.”
Permuth set out to document the world of Renteria and his images were recently published in the New York Times. What follows are some selected images from the full article.
Jaime Permuth is a Guatemalan photographer living and working in New York City.
His photographs have been shown at several venues in New York City, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Queens Museum of Art, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Museum of the City of New York, The Jewish Museum, El Museo del Barrio, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art. He has also exhibited internationally at the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno in Guatemala, Ryugaheon Gallery (Korea) Casa del Lago in Mexico City, and the Israeli Parliament. Among others, his work is included in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno Guatemala, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Museum of the City of New York, El Museo del Barrio, Yeshiva University Museum, State University of New York New Paltz, Art Museum of the Americas (DC), Fullerton Art Museum (CA) Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale (FLA) and Fondazione Benetton.