dimanche 1 novembre 2009


"I look for the essence of beings and of things, their spirit, their reality. Interest, experience, moral and aesthetic commitment, form the third eye of the photographer. There are those who focus it on the landscape; I feel attracted to human beings."

Lola Alvarez Bravo began her career as a photographer in the midst of the artistic and political ferment that followed the Mexican Revolution. In the 1920's and'30s, she moved in the artistic circles of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco. Mexico's socialistgovernment promoted intellectual freedom and a greater public role for the arts, which in turn attracted to Mexico cultural leaders from around the world. Sergey Einstein, André Breton, D.H. Lawrence, Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Paul Strand and Henri Cartier-Bresson are only a few of the figures drawn to the country by a heady idealism and the opportunity to escape convention. When Lola and her husband, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, first took up photography in the late 1920s, there was hardly a more auspicious moment or place to become a visual artist.

Lola Alvarez Bravo was Mexicos first woman photographer and her career is exceptional both for its remarkable range and for the compelling quality of her work. Approaching photography from multiple angels, she worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, and professional portraitist, while also creating intensely personal images of people, places and things throughout her native Mexico. In addition, she played a vital role in the Mexican cultural scene, as an inspiring teacher of photography, as a friend of innumerable artists and writers (many of whom she photographed), and as owner of a prestigious gallery that represented the first solo show by her friend Frida Kahlo, the subject of some of Alvarez Bravos most powerful portraits. Lola Alvarez Bravo moved to Mexico City from her home town of Jalisco at age three, and Mexico City remained her home base for the rest of her long life except for two years in Oaxaca with her then husband, Manuel Alvarez Bravo. She began making photographs, under his tutelage, in 1926 and continued photographing for the next sixty years. Although some of her photographs reflect Manuels influence the share the same cameras and often the same roll of film Lola achieved her own aesthetic during the 1940s and 50s concentrating on two particularly vivid bodies of work: portraiture and street photography. In these engaging images she found a way to reveal a lyricism in the world around her, producing quiet reveries of life lived in the moment.
- excerpt from the book: Lola Alvarez Bravo by Elizabeth Ferrer
Aperture Foundation Books ISBN13:978-1-931788-94-6
Music: Elliot Goldenthal , Chavela Vargas, Lila Downs
from the soundtrack to the film Frida.

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