Leon Center Collections

Max Pou was born in Santo Domingo and grew up in an environment related to photography. His father, Julio Pou Primet (1862-1943), photographer, painter and sculptor, is considered one of the forerunners of photography in the Dominican Republic. Max Pou started in this discipline at 1949 and developed an intense professional work in the field of portrait, landscape and architectural photography until 1962. In that year he installed his studio in Santo Domingo and devoted himself mainly to commercial photography. In 1952 he participated in the inaugural program of national television. His link with television for several years allowed him to increase his image archive. Pou is also recognized as a pioneer of documentary and cinema in the country. This photographer has left an important body of work characterized by his knowledge of technique, his mastery of the instrument, his mastery in the processes of development and copying and his ability to perceive the essence of the subject portrayed. This photographic image was made by Max Pou in the Fair of Peace and Confraternity of the Free World, celebrated in Santo Domingo in December of 1955, to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the absolutist regime of the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, and which demanded the design and construction of a building complex. The photograph shows the dancer Blanca Russo, who when performing a jump is framed between the antlers of two flags arranged in the building, while some officers observe her. Pou, who has to document the megalomania of Trujillo's power, captures on this occasion a highly symbolic image for the cover of an American magazine, which combines a series of allegorical elements to the status quo of the moment: military power, presence of the United States and the sobriety of the architectural structure.

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