Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1902 – 2002) was Mexico’s first principal artistic photographer and is the most important figure in 20th-century Latin American photography.
He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with is artistic peak between the 1920s to the 1950s. His hallmark as a photographer was to capture images of the ordinary but in ironic or surrealistic ways. His early work was based on European influences, but he was soon influenced by the Mexican muralism movement and the general cultural and political push at the time to redefine Mexican identity. He rejected the picturesque, employing elements to avoid stereotyping. Over his career he had numerous exhibitions of his work, worked in the Mexican cinema and established Fondo Editorial de la Plástica Mexicana publishing house. He won numerous awards for his work, mostly after 1970.