Covered from head to toe, these fire fighters resemble characters from a science-fiction film. Manuel Alvarez Bravo captured them standing motionless in front of a decaying wall, perhaps observing a fire drill or waiting to relieve other workers. Their protective suede uniforms must have been a burden to wear beneath the rays of the hot Mexican sun. Concealed behind their masks, these individuals lack personal identity. Like many of Alvarez Bravo's images, this photograph uses concealment to introduce multiple layers of meaning.
Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser