Manuel Álvarez Bravo

(Mexico City, Mexico, 1902 - 2002, Mexico City, Mexico)

North America, Mexican

Born in Mexico City on February 4, 1902, Manuel Álvarez Bravo's childhood education was interrupted in 1910 by the civil strife of the Mexican Revolution. This conflict left him with a lasting impression of the eternal struggle of the lower class and of the horror of political violence and death. This became the basis of his understanding of Mexican culture and its profound awareness of the duality of life and death. While Bravo studied painting and music at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, he was self-taught in photography. In 1931, after working for the Mexican Treasury for fifteen years, Bravo became a free-lance photographer. He also taught photography and cinematography at several Mexican universities. Although he worked as an artist-photographer for his entire adult life, Bravo had only two one-person exhibitions between 1924 and 1971, his contribution to photography recieving far greater exposure and recognition later.

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