El amor y el crimen [Love and Crime], from the portfolio Vida nocturna de la ciudad de México [Mexico City's Nightlife]
23.5 cm x 19 cm (9 1/4 in. x 7 1/2 in.)
José Chávez Morado
(Silao, Mexico, 1909 – 2002, Guanajuato, Mexico)
Latin America, Mexican
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, University purchase, 1966; Transfer from the Harry Ransom Center, 1982
This work is part of a portfolio by José Chávez Morado dedicated to Mexico City’s nightlife. Chávez Morado reflects his pessimistic view of the growing metropolis in a series of unsettling vignettes set in dark streets. Outside a theatre, musicians perform by the light of the passing cars. Police are about to storm a peaceful meeting. A seductive woman waits by the door of a one-star hotel. A man leaves the scene of a hideous crime. Under the cover of night, we discover the dark side of modernity. Signs of modern life are everywhere, yet the harsh contrast of black and white and the seedy subjects recall the gritty aesthetic of film noir rather than the utopian optimism of much of the works created in Mexico in the previous decade.