‘MAGIC RECTANGLE’ in my hands and my head

My instagram and my website have a title and motto that have a story behind. It was fundamentally inspired by a phrase (or even much more than that), in a ‘concept’ created by the great Chilean photographer Sergio Larraín (Sergio Larraín Echeñique; born in 5 September1931 in Santiago, Chile – death in 7 February 2012 in Ovalle, Chile). I explain.

Foto Sergio Larrain

In one of the few books that Larraín published in his short but truly beautiful photographer career (only three books published), I am fortunate to have one of them in my library – “Valparaiso” (by Aperture). In this book Larran mentions in several sections the word ‘RECTANGLE’.

On page 26 the author says “opening the moment with RECTANGLE” and on page 28, “in your hands, the MAGIC BOX, you walk in peace, aware, in the garden of FORMS”. Between pages 44 and 45 it mentions the position of the ‘RECTANGLE’: “VERTICAL, HORIZONTAL” and to page 47 says: “..opening the gate of time, with GEOMETRY”!

Larraín referred to photography in a unique and beautiful way. For him in photography ‘the subject is derived through’ GEOMETRY ‘(page 185). The great French critic, Agnès Sire, comments appropriately: “In this respect, he (Larraín) was in a firm agreement with his friend and role model Cartier-Bresson.”


In 1963, after an exhibition of his photographs in Santiago, he published his first book entitled “El RECTÁNGULO en la mano” (Cadernos Brasileiros collection, edited by the Brazilian poet Thiago de Mello). It is an idealized and handmade publication by the author himself with only 17 photographs.

Mystery_Solitude Totnes
Totnes, England. A. Mozeto
Porto com muita chuva. Santos. 13_14Out16
Santos, Brazil. A. Mozeto

Very appropriately the synopsis of an exhibition of Larraín’s work at the Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS) held in Rio de Janeiro in 2018 (IMS will do the same exhibition in São Paulo from April 27 to August 26, 2019) says “we see the synthesis of his vision of photography as revelation and poetic. ” The camera was his ‘RECTANGLE in his hand’, as Larraín said, and through it he sees the world with a lively and unconcerned look of conventions, privileging the human being and looking for unusual angles and unusual frames.


“The act of poetry,

(the act of photography). “

Sergio Larraín.


And, I would say: “The art of poetry, the art of photography”.


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