Nebreda: my everlasting love

David Nebreda’s work changed my life. It’s no mystery. I remember the first time I encountered his photographs (or they encountered me): it was in a sort of catalog – David Nebreda: Autorretratos (2002) -, that followed one of the author’s rare solo exhibitions, curated by Javier Panera, during the celebrations of the European Capital…

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Photo Requests from Solitary: this could have been so beautiful…

I came across this project while reading Pete Brook‘s Prison Photography, one of my favorite blogs out there. Photo Requests from Solitary became part of a larger project, but was initially founded by Tamms Year Ten, a grassroots coalition of artists, advocates, family members and men formerly incarcerated in Tamms Correctional Center in southern Illinois. Photo requests from Solitary consists…

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Colour #4: Paula Riff

The first group of images featured below is part of a project entitled What’s love got to do with it. Here’s Paula Riff‘s statement about that project:  I believe in love but it comes and goes.  Like the falling of leaves, love often falls gently to the ground; at least that’s my experience. Marbling paper…

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Screening men as objects of desire

The biggest problem I see in addressing the question of the objectification of men (or the representation of men as objects of desire) is that we can’t really avoid comparing it to the objectification of women and that is such a heavy burden to carry… Having said this, I’ll try and take the boat through…

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Colour #3: Aleksandra Vajd

All that is to know about Aleksandra Vajd’s project “Friends of friends are friends” (featured below) can be find in a text by Laura Amann, here. I see, I smell, I feel and hear these photographs reaching me. In Laura Amann’s words: The abstract nature requires us to focus on the process, materiality and technique.…

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Colour #2: Sanne de Wilde

What’s wrong with a purple sun? It’s been challenging to write about Belgian photographer Sanne de Wilde‘s The Island of the Colorblind. I mentioned the project here once before, but at the time the book was about to be published (by Hannibal Publishers) and I waited for further information, for there was a lot about the…

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Colour #1: Akihiko Miyoshi

Here is a selection of Akihiko Miyoshi’s profound, complex and beautifully coloured work. Photography’s impulse to depict in its most utilitarian tendencies (for example photo-journalism as art) creates, to use the artist Jeff Wall’s words, the “most problematic kind of photograph” which anchored itself through social validity. This to me is an insufficient condition for…

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Art forgery in the XXI century

Eduardo Martins is no Wolfgang Beltracchi, but the truth is he managed to turn himself into a heroish-like-photojournalist. Regarding the substance of what was being created, there’s no similarities between Beltracchi and Martins, as the first was and is an extremely gifted technician and Martins just sounds like a sociopath, verging on the psychopath. No…

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The Observer likes to hunt

Half a dozen years ago I was a romantic. Everything bordered on being overwhelming. As I started to understand what that dark romantic feeling was all about, I feared I might become a cynic. Luckily, I’ve managed to keep my distance from such a corrosive approach to life, but sometimes not to photography. As I…

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Seeing is believing

Some years ago I was having a discussion with a friend about going to visit animals in enclosed spaces and as my friend was arguing for his position, he stated: how else can I see them? Somehow, I’ve never forgotten his argument, so maybe there’s something to it. At fist, it seems just a very…

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Disconnecting from your body

Most people have a very special layer around their bodies (non-scientifically described as a second-skin) that protects them from the outside menaces. I’m sure if we dove into a biological take on this subject, there would be a lot to talk about. However, this second-skin I’m referring to is not that kind of verifiable layer.…

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Photographing Corners

There’s something about a photograph of a corner that intrinsically relates to the essence of photography. Although I don’t pretend to know what that essence is, it’s clear to me that it somehow has to do with how we, as subjects, come to understand ourselves as beings. In that sense, it relates to memory and,…

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Jordan Gale: ‘I was lucky’

I came across Jordan Gale‘s project It is what it is @ Lenscratch. At first, it was a darkness that grabbed my attention, but then something else triggered a different engagement with his work. In what seems like a statement about It is was it is, Gale mentions that the project “acts as a form…

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Soham Gupta’s pictures haunt us

Soham Gupta‘s statement: Angst is my reaction to the trials through which some people must pass in our society. This work has its roots in my childhood riddled with severe asthma attacks and in my troubled growing-up years spent trying to come to terms with the world’s expectations. Deep within Angst runs my anger, my…

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Marco Breuer: brightness can fool you

Breuer has been making abstract photographs since the early 1990s. However, in contrast to Aaron Siskind, whose black-and-white photographs of walls were linked to the gestural paintings of the Abstract Expressionists, particularly those of his friend Franz Kline, Breuer works with sheets of chromogenic paper, which, as the label for “Untitled (C-1773)” (2016) informs us, has been “exposed/…

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Photojournalism under fire

I don’t doubt the need for photojournalism and I’m aware that what I’m about to do is, in a lot of senses, offensive, particularly to the experiences photojournalists go through in order to document situations that are horrible, unimaginable, experiences one really has to go thorough in order to understand what they’re about.  Having said…

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Pitch-black

It’s a dark day in Portugal. A huge fire hit a central region of the country and the worst happened. Because a part of my family was caught in the fire, my objectivity to talk about this situation is absolutely compromised. They are all alive, and that is what matters today.  This is a blog…

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Pornography in a month

I noticed it’s been almost a month since my last publication. During that period I attempted three different posts and none made it to the end, the reason being Propeller, a project I was invited (by Hélice) to collaborate with. Propeller is a magazine dedicated to photographic expression. Until Propeller‘s number zero is out, I guess…

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When is a picture of atrocity “needed”?

This past March, a painting by white american author Dana Schutz triggered an interesting discussion that ultimately lead to a debate about freedom of expression. The painting in question (featured below) is titled Open Casket and was exhibited at the Whitney Biennial, sparking protests (in front of the artwork) and a particular letter, who a particular black artist,…

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Between performance and theater

Vito Acconci passed away last Friday, the 28th, at 77. Acconci’s performances were partly responsible for my interest in staged photography, which then developed into an interest in durational performance, again inspired by Acconci, Tehching Hsieh and Marina & Ulay’s performances. When I heard the news about Acconci’s death I remembered something he once said about Marina Abramovic’s retrospective…

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