Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.4 x 18.3 cm (9 5/8 x 7 3/16 in.); Mounted: 30 x 23 cm (11 13/16 x 9 1/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2007.142
© Colette Urbajtel/ Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, S.C
Manuel Alvarez Bravo encouraged viewers to discover their own meanings in his pictures.
Manuel Álvarez Bravo captured unusual scenes of everyday life in his home country of Mexico. In the three photographs included here, each focuses on isolated fragments of urban iconography through storefronts and billboards. Ladder of Ladders strikes a particularly dark note. The workshop pictured here manufactured caskets for children at a time when the infant mortality rate in Mexico City was 75%. The stacked coffins just inside the shop’s doorway formally play on light and darkness in the same way the photograph’s subject matter metaphorically references the tension between life and death in the city.
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