What About Casasloa? | Letters | Chicago Reader

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What About Casasloa?


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What About Casasola?

Dear Editors,

While it may be easily conceded that from an artistic point of view, the photos produced by Sr. Alvarez Bravo are preeminent in the extensive body of Mexican photographic art, I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Fred Camper's conclusion that Sr. Alvarez Bravo is "generally acknowledged to be Mexico's most important photographer" (9/6/02).

I think Sr. Alvarez Bravo himself would concede that Gustavo Casasola is, to the present day, the most important photographer in Mexican history. This is not from any lack on the part of Alvarez Bravo in artistic quality, but because he was born too late. As Mr. Camper notes, Alvarez Bravo was born in 1902, but the real Mexican Death Trip started in 1910, with the commencement of the Mexican Revolution that year, the effects continuing for several bloody decades. In 1910, Alvarez Bravo was eight years old, too young to swing a camera. Gustavo Casasola, while young, set out with a single-minded passion to record the personalities and events of that period, from the imposed order and calm of General Diaz's presidency, through the stirrings of revolt, through its most sanguinary engagements and affairs, all the way through the presidency of Cardenas and his PRI successors.

The result is a multivolume series of thousands of pictures of Mexican history during this critical period, which you can still buy if you can ante up the price which Editorial Trillas of Mexico City will be happy to charge you, or possibly you can get a set of the 1970 edition secondhand and see if you accept Mr. Camper's opinion or mine.

I enclose two selections out of volume two of Historia grafica de la revolucion mexicana, Mr. Casasola's life work, for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

L.E. Field


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