Gordon Parks at J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM

On assignment to document poverty in Brazil for Life magazine, American photographer Gordon Parks encountered one of the most important subjects of his career: Flávio da Silva. Parks featured the resourceful, ailing boy, who lived with his family in one of Rio’s working-class neighborhoods known as favelas, in the heart-rending 1961 photo essay “Freedom’s Fearful Foe: Poverty.” It resulted in donations from Life readers but sparked controversy in Brazil. This exhibition explores the celebrated photo essay, tracing the extraordinary chain of events it triggered and Parks’ representation of Flávio over several decades.