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Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s portraits of Salvador Novo and Xavier Villaurrutia appear at first to exert a masculine and refined image of the two writers, yet the intimacy of these poses reveals a gentler side, a side closer to intellect than to masculinity. In congruity with these two portraits, Bravo’s portrait of Frida Kahlo asserts the power she had as an intellectual, an artist, and a woman. These portraits seem to cumulate in the Retrato desagradable, which signals that the power of a portrait is to evoke a sense of emotion and intellect beneath the surface of gender.

 
Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus

Jo Ann Callis

Jo Ann Callis

Wayne Lawrence

Wayne Lawrence

Tomoko Sawada

Tomoko Sawada

Nancy Burson

Nancy Burson

Cristina Garcia Rodero

Cristina Garcia Rodero

Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee

Katsumi Watanabe

Katsumi Watanabe

Antonio Caballero

Antonio Caballero

Graciela Iturbide

Graciela Iturbide

Yasumasa Morimura

Yasumasa Morimura

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