The Good Reputation, Sleeping / [La Buena Fama Durmiendo]

Object Details

Title:

The Good Reputation, Sleeping / [La Buena Fama Durmiendo]

Artist/Maker(s):

Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)

Culture:

Mexican

Place(s):

Mexico City, Mexico (Place created)

Date:

negative 1938; print 1974

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

18.6 x 24.6 cm (7 5/16 x 9 11/16 in.)

Copyright:

© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

See more

See less

Whether concealed by a fig leaf or locked by a chastity belt, a woman's erogenous area has traditionally been kept hidden from view. Flouting convention, Manuel Alvarez Bravo staged this scene by clothing the model's upper thighs, hips, and waist, and exposing her pubic region. Although this photograph challenges traditional representations of women, it alludes to confinement through the use of bandages around the model's wrists and ankles. These devices can be interpreted as symbols of bondage and lack of free will.

In this seemingly serene setting, the star cacti lined up beside the slumbering model signal pain and danger. The plants impede the woman's free movement, while at the same time protecting her from the sexual advances of a potential intruder. In naming this photograph The Good Reputation, Sleeping, Alvarez Bravo drew upon the Mexican proverb: Earn a good reputation, then rest on your laurels.

Exhibitions
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, (Cat.)
  • Museo Nacional de Arte, (Mexico City), March 14 to June 2, 2002, (Cat.)
  • Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis), November 10, 2002 to February 9, 2003, (Cat.)
Bibliography

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. 90.

Roche, Denis. Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Paris: Photogalerie, 1976?) pl. IX.

Paz, Octavio and A. Muñoz, ed. Instante y Revelación (México: Circulo Editorial, 1982)

Salas Pablo Ruíz Picasso. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985) pl. 111, p. 149.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986) # 71.

Del Conde, Teresa. Mucho Sol (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989) p. 35.

Museum of Photographic Arts. Revelaciones: The Art of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (San Diego, Calif.: Museum of Photographic Arts, 1990) pl. 21.