Sympathetic Nervous System/[El sistema nervioso del gran simpático]

Object Details


Sympathetic Nervous System/[El sistema nervioso del gran simpático]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)




negative 1930s; print 1974


Gelatin silver print


24.3 × 19.4 cm (9 9/16 × 7 5/8 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Using clasps meant to attach stockings to a garter, Manuel Alvarez Bravo affixed a scientific drawing of a male torso in profile to an advertisement for women's corsets, then photographed the collage. The resulting image emphasizes the similarities between the male skeletal structure and the external binding devices used to support the female form. In comparing the natural and the artificial, the collage probes what lies beneath the surface of both skin and clothing.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables (November 13, 2001 to February 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 17, 2002
  • Museo Nacional de Arte (Mexico City), March 14 to June 2, 2002
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), November 10, 2002 to February 9, 2003

Sociedad de Arte Moderno. Fotografías, exh. cat. (México: D.F. Sociedad de Arte Moderno, 1945), p. 41.

Trueblood, Beatrice. Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Photographies 1928-1968, exh. cat. (Mexico City: Comité Organizador de los Juegos de la XIX Olimpiada, Departamento de Publicaciones, 1968), p. 92.