Looking carefully and attentively at these two portraits, I see a small passage in my head containing great words by James Agee when he says to whom his (great) book “Let us now praise famous men” (*) (Cia das Letras. Translation by Caetano W. 2009. James Agee and legendary photos of Walker Evans) had been written:
… “In any case, this is a book about ‘sharecroppers’, and it is written for all those who have a weakness in their hearts for the laughter and tears inherent in poverty seen from afar, and especially for …”enjoy a little better and more guilty the next good meal you have ”(page 31).
My message here is simply this: many of us do not realize the hard daily work of a rural worker in the production of food that reaches the tables of our families in Brazil and even many around the world. This is also true for the production of commodities that are mostly exported.
(*) book (journalist, poet and writer James Rufus Agee) and photographs (photographer Walker Evans) generated in the period of June-August 1936 when both worked on the production of a report (which in fact NEVER came to be published in the press) in Alabana state, USA, in order to portray the effects of the devastating period of the Great Depression. They even lived with three ‘meeiros’ families, establishing a very close relationship with several people.
Both the book and the photographs translate well this degree of involvement given the emotion and the level of detail with which Agee describes people, houses, their rooms and belongings. Evans’ photographs corroborate everything Agee writes, and even add even more emotion.
In short: “Evans’ photographs are, for me, the natural visual lexicon of Agee’s delightful descriptions. Sensations, the spirit of places and objects spontaneously spill out of Evans’ images ”.
Oh !, time … time, that damn-blessed inexorable variable … inevitable, unshakable, inflexible, relentless, unspeakable variable … the time that denies everything and erases everything … the time that yellow the love letter leaf kept so long in a drawer … forgotten there, but not from time, to time … time that wears out love … time that soothes passions and brings loneliness … time for a utopian world … and, at the same time, a dystopian world … time that everything weathered and destroyed the beauty and perfection of the beautiful … that appeased, that ended wars … that ended everything, from manias to epidemics and pandemics, that calmed the gusts … that the flower withers, rots the fruit and soothes the pain … which creates unrest and brings fear … Read More
COVID-19 times have been tough but have provided me with an opportunity, with time and patience, to scan old negatives and color slides that I used so much in my film photography. And, I rediscovered the beauty of the nostalgic and bucolic colors that these films (I used regular 100-200 ASA films from Kodak and Fuji) reproduced. Read More
I write this post not based on deep knowledge about Kubrick’s work because I am far from having it, but much more guided by my admiration for the work of this great artist and the emotion that his photos make me feel. Read More
‘Moriyamando’ is a new series of photographs that I have been working on for the past few days. The name of the series is a pun that I make (and that only makes sense in the Portuguese language) with the name of the great Japanese photographer, Daido Moriyama, whom I admire and draw inspiration from in my street photography. Read More
After more than 30 years I am returning to film photography. I do not know if it is to stay, but I am back … I have the impression that it will live well with my digital photography that I have been practicing for some 20 years. Read More
This is the second series of my photographs that I present in tribute to this great Japanese and world photographer named Daido Moriyama, whom I greatly admire. These photos are from several dates made in the city of São Paulo-SP, Brazil.
I do not deny the strong influence I have of the work of Moriyama when I photograph streets in megacities like São Paulo. Read More