Laughing Mannequins by Manuel Alvarez Bravo (1930)

The photograph titled “Laughing Mannequins” was taken by the artist Manuel Alvarez Bravo in 1930. It depicts a group of mannequins positioned above a textile market. The mannequins, which are placed in a row, each have a distinct pose and are dressed in women’s attire appropriate for the era, suggesting a display for advertising clothing to passersby. Below and to the foreground, humans appear engaged in their day-to-day activities, largely unaware of or uninterested in the mannequins above. One figure seems to be folding or arranging textiles, and another is partially visible, seemingly in movement. The contrast between the lifeless mannequins and the human activity below contributes to a surreal atmosphere, underscoring themes of commerce, public space, and the boundary between human and inanimate objects. The image captures a moment in time that reflects both the culture of the period and the observer’s exchange with an urban environment.

Other Photographs from Manuel Alvarez Bravo

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