Inspiration and a tribute: To the landscapes of Bill Brandt.

My little library of photography books is (much) richer since yesterday: the book Bill Brandt: Shadow & Light has arrived, published in conjunction with the exhibition “Bill Brandt: Shadow & Light” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (March 06-August 12, 2013) and organized by Sarah Hermanson Meister, curator of the Department of Photography at this institution.

This book shows how important is this great photographer born in Germany and who lived much of his life in England who worked with equal mastery in the genres of documentary photography, portraits, nudes and breathtaking landscape photography.

My homage and tribute to this phenomenal photographer, one of the greatest of the 20th century, is made with this polyptych below where I show 4 landscapes from Serra da Canastra, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

[my transcendentalist ‘self’]

[my transcendentalist individuality is a mere fragment of the universal “self”…my personality is a fragment of the personality of Gods and Goddesses and the Universe]
[…I am at the same time the wings of a seagull that flies at the mercy of the strong wind that blows over a beautiful beach on a sunny afternoon when the storm approaches]
[…and I am the leaves of grass that spread in a green pasture on a day of clear sky and inclement sun after a night of torrential and warm summer rains]
[…and I am also the boys and girls who walk happily every morning on their smooth paths to school carrying their bags with their notebooks and their book and pencil and eraser, eager to learn more and more]
[…and I am the weary men stumbling back home after a hard day’s work to eat dinner, kiss their wife and sons and daughters and be glad to be alive and healthy and strong]
[no intention to deny what I was yesterday, what I am today, what I will be tomorrow]
[…who is to contest?]


“MAKE IT NEW” (Ezra Pound – 1885–1972)

This phrase, so to speak, refers to Ezra Pound’s modernist imperative in his eponymous 1934 collection of essays.

This ‘slogan’ urges the writer to create from the material of the artwork that is distinctly innovative.

The idea behind this ‘slogan’ is, for me, fully desirable in photography.

[place and memory in photography: the beauty of time; the passage of time]

The great US photographer William Christenberry (1936-2016) ( once said ( -manners-and-memory-review): “I don’t want my work to be thought of in terms of nostalgia. It’s a matter of place and sense of place. I’m not looking back with nostalgia for the past, but for the beauty of time and the passage of time.”

I echo the words of William Christenberry. These are the same reasons that motivate me to take photographs of buildings – many of them old and/or abandoned –, objects and landscapes from the interior of the state of São Paulo and other parts of the interior of Brazil.