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The Good Reputation 1, 2, 3
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© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Mexican, 1938 - 1939
Gelatin silver print
3 7/16 x 7 1/2 in.
92.XM.23.37

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Visually inspired by the bandages that dancers use to wrap their legs before practicing, Manuel Alvarez Bravo wrapped his model's wrists, thighs, hips, and feet with dressings supplied by a physician friend. Juxtaposing her tender flesh and serene slumber with thorny cactus pears from the local market, Alvarez Bravo photographed the model, Alicia, on the roof of the national arts school where he taught. He created this triptych, or series of three images, for the cover of an exhibition catalogue for a Surrealist exhibition that André Breton organized in Mexico City in 1939, using the multiple format for emphasis. Predictably, the prominent display of pubic hair standing out against the bandages drove censors to declare the work unacceptable for the cover.