Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1980
I first discovered Manuel Alvarez Bravos' photography when I was in middle school. Middle school was a huge time of discoveries for me, I grew up so much as an individual during that time, and I have many people to thank for that. But there is always other people that you don't ever even need to meet to change your life. Manuel Alvarez Bravo was one of those people. He was such an inspiration for me as a young girl. I dreamed of a different life through his photography, a life in the "Old Mexico". A place so close, yet so far out of reach for me, a time long passed but never forgotten thanks to his beautiful images.
Manuel Alvarez Bravo was born February 4th, 1902 in Mexico City, Mexico. He came from a family of photographers, and started his studies in 1918 at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes. He began photographing in 1925 post-revolutionary Mexico, and in the latter half of the 1920's he became acquainted with Diego Rivera and through him, with Tina Modotti also a photographer. Meeting these artist and becoming involved in the social and political climate of post-revolutionary Mexico undoubtedly had an effect on the images Bravo was creating. When Modotti was deported from Mexico in 1930, Bravo took over her position as photographer for the magazine Mexican Folkways.
Bravo co-founded the Fondo Editorial de la Plastilina Mexicana, an organization dedicated to books on Mexican art. He has exhibited at numerous locations throughout the world including The Museo de San Carlos, Mexico City, The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., The Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Chicago At Institute, to name only a few. He's published over thirty books of his photography.
Manuel Alvarez Bravo passed away in Mexico City, October 19th 2002.
R.I.P. viejito chulo!