{…portraits…always portraits…}

Brassaï (1899-1984) questions in his book ‘Proust and photography’ (original title: ‘Marcel Proust sous l’emprise de la photographie’ and published in Brazil in Portuguese in 2005 by Jorge Zahar Ed., Rio de Janeiro) (version that I now read) that “a simple photograph would possess so as much presence as a real person? Yes, Proust thinks, the photo is even a kind of real double, loaded with all the potentialities of a being”.

And Brassaï goes on to say: “every portrait would not attest to the presence of a person in front of a lens, would it not be an image traced by light itself, as its etymology indicates, by the way: photos=light, graphein=trace? WOULDN’T IT BE THE VERY EMANATION OF THE BEING?”

Continue reading “[.P.O.R.T.R.A.I.T.S.]”

Me and Mr. Eggleston (and our tricycles)

I can swear and, I believe, you are capable of not believing that in 2018 in Paranapiacaba (SP-Brazil) I took this photograph of the top of the diptych I was already aware of this iconic photo by William Eggleston (which is mentioned in the literature as “Untitled, Tricycle and Memphis, 1970”), but I did not imagine that today I would be comparing mine with his made practically from the same angle.

Observing international criticism, this lower angle gives Eggleston’s famous photo very inspired considerations like this one by Mark Feeney: “Looking up at the sky, Eggleston’s camera gives that tricycle the majesty – and ineffability – of an archangel’s throne” (William Eggleston’s Big Wheels, Smithsonian Magazine – August 2011). Feeney also notes that Eggleston’s tricycle dominates the foreground of the photo “like a chariot of very youthful gods“. And he adds: “archangels, deities: for Eggleston, the profane is what’s sacred”.

“My tricycle”. Paranapiacaba (SP), Brazil. 2018.
William Eggleston’s Tricycle. Menphis, USA. 1970.

You who are reading this text what about my tricycle? I hope you say good things since my tricycle is at a great disadvantage – to say the least – to Eggleston made in 1970. This iconic photograph was recently auctioned for just over half a million US dollars. I would be happy with good readings from my tricycle and, perhaps, a very minimal fraction – a very tinny fraction – of Eggleston’s dollars for my tricycle.

Do you want to buy it?


[I am not good with words; I have for myself that I was born disfigured from that thing called the word; I need to talk about it to break the spell; it seems that I am convinced that I was born to see-hear-appreciate; with a sharper feeling; because I like to see the rooster crowing: because I like to see the birds singing: the noise of rain-on-the roof; of a shooting star streaking the sky on endless nights: the ticking of the time clock: the flashing light of the fireflies: perhaps even the rays of the sun illuminating the mornings: the warm colors of the setting sun; I hear the noise of the moon’s phase changes: of the movement of the clouds: of the twinkling of the stars in the firmament; I hear the brightness of the Milky Way in the sky on a clear night: the speech of the deaf and dumb: the silence of innocents: of tired souls; I hear the silence of the emptiness of love that is gone: of the warmth of the loving gaze of father and mother: of the silence of a fallen leaf on the floor of the branches of trees in autumn: of the blossoming of flowers in the meadows: of the heat of the animals in the bush : the dangling of the dogs’ tails: the sadness of death and grief: the footsteps of frustrated dreams and nightmares of sleepless nights: the silence of fear of the dark: the loneliness of lonely and abandoned old men: the jealousy of the unloved wife and despised; I hear the sweat running down the face of a tired worker in the midday sun: the silence of just men and women, workers, at the end of another day’s work; I hear the hope of the arrival of letters: the anxiety of a mother waiting for her child at the door of the house: the silence of tired hands, of peaceful minds and hearts: the sounds, the colors, the sensations of absence: the faith and courage of righteous men: the sound of the cool breeze of the cold April mornings]

[for the sake of mundane geometry]

The streets of our cities are an inexhaustible source of possibilities for photography. They are capable of changing the mood of photographers for the better. I come from this magic potion almost every time, carefree, I wander the streets where I prefer neighborhoods on the outskirts of cities. They don’t have the glamor of thin and elegant neighborhoods, with their bold architectures, but they have more soul. They speak closer to my heart. They whisper more sweetly to my ears.

Continue reading “[for the sake of mundane geometry]”

Me and Mr. Strand.

In the book “Understanding a photograph” by John Berger (organization and introduction by Geoff Dyer and translation by Paulo Geiger) (Cia das Letras. São Paulo. 2017) (an authentic treatise on photography made known by master Juan Esteves, São Paulo) I read and reread it a few times (good things have to be tasted homeopathically) the ‘reading’ of the photo on the left of 1944 (made three years before this writter was born) by Paul Strand in Vermont, New England-USA, and the that you can read there with all the letters impresses me, touches me a lot.

Berger says of Strand’s work: “His best photographs are unusually dense – not in the sense of being overloaded or obscure, but in the sense that they are filled with an unusual amount of substance per square centimeter. And all this substance becomes the essence of the object’s life. Take the famous portrait of Mr. Bennet. His jacket, his shirt, his beard on his chin, the wood of the house behind him, the air around him become, in this image, the very face of his life, of which his facial expression is the concentrated spirit”.

Left: Mr. Bennett (Vermont, New England-USA) (1944) by Paul Strand.

Right: Onion harvester (Casa Branca, SP-Brasil) (2019) Antonio Mozeto.

The photo on the right that I took in 2019 of an onion harvester in Casa Branca (SP-Brazil) has a much more explicit surface given that the worker is in his own working environment. And, without due permission, but with due boldness, ‘reading’ my photo, I make Berger’s words about the current Paul Strand photo mine: all the substance of the photo is in the expressive look of the worker, in a marked face due to the hardships of hard work and the properties of his surroundings: the harsh and striking light of the day in full sun, the onion harvesting bucket, the onion sacks lined up behind him, two companions of toil and the bus that brings him a lot early for the harvest and takes you home at the end of another day of this person’s hard daily workday.

As Berger rightly said (operate citato) “in the relationship between photography and words, the first yearns for an interpretation, and words usually supply it. The photograph, irrefutable as evidence, but weak in meaning, gains meaning from words”.


These little chapels are a milestone in many countries and in the case of Brazil it is no different.

Here in Brazil I believe it is a tradition passed by Portuguese colonization.

Whenever I find them on my many trips, most of the time on back roads (I don’t like highways) I stop and photograph.

note: the featured image is of a niece, Esvânia Elisa Pilhalarme (Borborema, SP-Brazil)


[new topographies from the interior of the state of são paulo-brasil]

note1: I have photographed in small towns in the interior of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, deactivated, abandoned gas stations, some of them, in ruins, where one does not see a ‘living soul’ as I said, the other day, by a spirited one (in the look) friend. Perhaps you may see the spirit of the old owners, their good and faithful customers wandering around…..LOL…

note2: I like gas stations; I like the smell of gasoline. In small towns in Brazil, the connection between people and gas stations is something important which is, to me, something difficult to explain. Many of them, in these small towns, help to tell the story of these places.

“Photography is memory and is confused with it” (Boris Kossoy).