The Mexican muralist Diego Rivera once wrote that Manuel Alvarez Bravo's photographs radiate a "profound and discreet poetry, [a] desperate and refined irony ." This statement is borne out in Alvarez Bravo's image of light falling on tree leaves, which then cast distinct and diffuse shadows on a floating surface, perhaps a canopy or some other type of temporary structure.
Aiming his lens upward, Alvarez Bravo captured the stirring clouds that were momentarily suspended in the narrow opening between treetop and shadow-speckled surface. His angled perspective achieved a tension of ascent. In extracting something extraordinary from the everyday, Alvarez Bravo emphasized how visual realities can suddenly appear inscrutable to passersby.
Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser