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Manuel Alvarez Bravo  

b. 1902 Mexico City, Mexico, d. 2002

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A self-taught photographer, Manuel Alvarez Bravo purchased his first camera at age twenty while working at a government job. His earliest success at photography came around 1925, when he won first prize in a local photographic competition in Oaxaca. He returned to Mexico City, where he had been born, and in 1927 met Tina Modotti, who introduced him to a lively intellectual and cultural environment of other artists from various disciplines. Among them was Edward Weston, who encouraged Alvarez Bravo to continue photographing; Weston wrote to him in 1929: "Photography is fortunate in having someone with your viewpoint. It is not often I am stimulated to enthusiasm over a group of photographs."

Alvarez Bravo taught photography at the San Carlos Academy in the late 1930s, documented the work of Mexican mural painters including Diego Rivera, and contributed images to the journal Mexican Folkways . His primary subject interests have ranged from the nude form to folk art, particularly burial rituals and decorations.

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In Focus: Manuel Alvarez Bravo

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Dog & Cloud / Alvarez Bravo
Dog & Cloud

Mexican, 1930-1940

Books / Alvarez Bravo

Mexican, about 1930

Optical Parable / Alvarez Bravo
Optical Parable

Mexican, 1931

One from The Fine Arts / Alvarez Bravo
One from The Fine Arts

Mexican, 1931 or 1933/1934

Day Dream / Ensueño / Alvarez Bravo
Day Dream / Ensueño

Mexican, Mexico, 1931