Marta María Pérez Bravo
Marta María Pérez Bravo (born 1959) is a Cuban artist who is best known for her dream-based black-and-white photography, often using her own body as the central subject to express her own mythological beliefs.
Bravo graduated in Painting at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts (1979) and the Instituto Superior de Arte (1984). Although she studied painting while at the Instituto Superior de Arte, she did a photography project for her thesis and has been doing photography ever since. She lived in Havana until 1995 when she moved to Monterrey, Mexico, with her family where she currently resides.
Bravo's work is usually staged, small-format black-and-white photographs where she uses her body as a vessel to express her cultural and religious perspective. She is deeply connected to her cultural background especially the religious belief of the Afro-Caribbean Santería. The Santería believe that the divine exists in all things, even in everyday objects. These objects are often "votive offerings and other elements of popular lore"  of her Cuban culture. This is why Bravo chooses such familiar objects such as rope, branches, and animal parts to express the divine nature of all things. Her photographs attempt to express her own spiritual path, documenting her progress through abstract and dream-like staged photographs. Although her spiritual path itself remains vague, we are given a glimpse into her divine experiences.
A large part of her work also consists of self-portraits that are intended to "demystify" motherhood. Her challenges in childbirth served as the inspiration for her series called "To Conceive" and "Memories of Our Baby." These series attempt to demystify motherhood by showing her body in ways that are intended to challenge the worshiping of sensual beauty. One method she uses to accomplish this is to depict her body in circumstances of physical violence.
Bravo's work has been displayed all over the world including Cuba at the IV Havana Bienal, the V Istanbul Biennial in Turkey and the Kwangju Biennale in South Korea. Her work has been also included in many museum exhibitions such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museo del Barrio, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia, Museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, Muesarnok Museum, Budapest, Hungary, Alejandro Otero Museum of Visual Arts, Caracas, Venezuela, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, Canada, Menil Collection in Houston, Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, Wichita Art Museum, Kansas, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mead Museum of Art, Amherst, Massachusetts, Miami Art Museum, Florida, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Samuel P Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
- Fernandez, Ana (2005). "Parallels and Tensions Present in Marta Marla Perez Bravo's Work". Santa Fe New Mexican.
- Marta María Pérez Bravo", Dalton Gallery. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Bensley, Lis (July 9, 1995). "Marta Maria Perez Bravo". Santa Fe New Mexican.
- "Marta Maria Pérez Bravo", Fraser Gallery. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Marta María Pérez Bravo from One Art World
- Examples of Pérez Bravo's work from Alida Anderson
- Marta María Pérez Bravo in the Farber Collection
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