Paul Strand, American, 1890 - 1976
Not currently on view
Seated Man, Uruapan del Progreso, Michoacán, Mexico
Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)
Mexico (Place Created)
14.9 × 11.7 cm (5 7/8 × 4 5/8 in.)
© Aperture Foundation
Paul Strand arrived in Mexico in late 1932, abandoning his "usual working methods at the border." No longer subscribing to the popular precept that "you can't make a portrait unless you know that person," Strand began making photographs of Mexico's native population. In this expressive image, a man in tattered clothing rests his head against a crumbling wall, with his eyes closed and his arm partially hiding his face. The burden of generations of labor and sorrow appears to overwhelm him. Without knowing the man personally, Strand managed to capture an iconic subject, whose dignity and vulnerability combined to reveal the hardship of village life.