Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photographer Mario Cravo Neto Dies

Photographer Mario Cravo Neto Dies
The body of the Bahia-born photographer, Mario Cravo Neto, was cremated in the morning of Monday, August 10, 2009, at the Garden Cemetery Saudade in the neighborhood of Brotas. The ceremony was attended by friends, family, and fellow visual artists who came to bid a last farewell to the renowned artist. Deeply upset, his family did not wish to talk to the press about the death of the photographer, who passed away of skin cancer on Sunday afternoon, August 9, at the age of 62. He was hospitalized after his condition worsened, about two weeks before he died at the Hospital of the Alliance.

Son of the sculptor Mario Cravo Junior, Mario Cravo Neto was born in Salvador on April 20, 1947. His career as a photographer began at an early age, when he was 17. In addition to recognition in Brazil for the importance of his work, the photographer took part in exhibitions in various countries around the world.In 1980 and 1995 Cravo Neto, received the award for Best Photographer of the Year from the Paulista Association of Art Critics (APCA), in 1996 received the National Prize of Photography Funarte and in 2004 the Mario Pedrosa Award from the Brazilian Association of Art Critics.Atarde on Line.
Man with Fish (1992)

Mask 10 (1993)
• We recommend reading the article: The photographic work of Mario Cravo Neto by Fernando Castro.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Christopher Anderson
VENEZUELA. Caracas. 2005. A body lies in the street of Caracas. Violent crime is rampant and murder rate is staggering.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Magnolia #3 from the Magnolias Series by Margot Neuhaus

The photographic work of the Mexican born Margot S. Neuhaus makes reference to the works of the f64 group. Her work in the digital age advocate for the pure un-manipulated straight photography, with sharp-focus, close ups and long tonal range. Similar framework proposed by Alfred Stieglitz signaled the end of the hegemonic Pictorialism movement in photography of the beginning of the century characterized by the use of the darkroom manipulation and specially the soft focus.
Ms. Neuhaus comes from the sculpture realm with strong conceptual component. For her is natural to find the sculptural elements in the close-ups of the Magnolia Series as Edward Weston does in his own work, as well Ms Neuhaus evocation of abstract forms also refers to the early work -1915- of Paul Strand. Ms Neuhaus in her photograph looks for a beautiful print with a mystical sensitivity as Adrian Bianco explains in her essay Nature, Space, and Light for Ms Neuhaus exhibit titled Luminous Silence at the art Museum of the Americas TL Gallery. http://www.museum.oas.org/exhibitions/gsb_exhibitions/neuhaus/index.html
Thanks Fabian.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yes, I agree with Blake Gopnik that photography specially commercial photography has particular status and because of that is treated different than other segment of the fine art or high art.
As fine art rejected the norms of the academies and saloons it became more abstract and conceptual it level the field for other forms of art to be appreciated like primitive art. Bbecause we cannot judge from what we see on surface of the canvas, it was more the opinion of an art critic or a curator what was important to determinate what was fine art or not. For example the opinion of Clement Greenberg was the one that determinate what was fine art or not during the ’40 to the ‘60; As a result of the rejection of the formal convention of art, art becomes distant and strange to the viewer. Fine art is only for the people who can understand it.
On the other hand in photography it was John Szarkowski who removed the dividers that separated the photograph in high and low art and re-read them looking for a good shot a good picture, with beauty and information. Photography still captures the imagination of the viewer, because that is the ways that are been curated or selected today for exhibit.
For the questing if photography is art?
Yes, it is a form of art, as any form of art it is the influenced by other forms of art like paintings and art theory. The early photograph by Margaret Cameron, Rejlander and Robinson were inspired by paintings the soft focus is clear example of that, the composition, the classical themes also refers to painting and the tendencies that dominated the trends during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. During the 1920 and ’30 photography enters a period of self-consciousness influenced by modernist and social ideas pictures become more powerful and artistic as photographs. As painting becomes more deconstructed with less information; at the same time photography becomes more sharp and realistic since is dealing with the real word but with a social conscience in the ’20 and ‘30 , it have information and that information handed as not strictly documentary makes the pictures develop their own language.
Regarding the famous photographer who can move among the powerful and rich, it is what is left of the high circulation magazines era and is changing with the new electronic media. As images and news are spread rapidly through the internet, those large circulation magazines are losing their monolithic power of building visual languages.
In the article what surprised me was no reference to Andy Warhol because he resolve the contradictions of high and low art, the commercial and noncommercial art, the popular and elite fine art. And his photography based art had an important role on that.
The picture I selected is from a fine art photographer Luis Delgado is art, is digital, has a narrative, a good scale of grays and the necessary amount of information.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Landsacape, Exploration and the New Frontier

Landscape, Exploration and the New Frontier'

As the visual new frontier moved west in 1850, with the expeditions of Timothy O’Sullivan, and Carleton Watkins to expedition to Yellowstone a similar frontier is opening in Central-America for investment and nature lovers. The government of Guatemala looking for development in their native land contracted two photographers the Italian Agostino Someliani and the British Eadweard Muybridge; to produce travelers albums for promotion and development .
The photograph I selected is part of six albums produced by E. Muybridge in Guatemala during 1870 the intention of the photographer was to show the beauty of the place but at the same time to use these image, captured in the new frontier, to stimulate the imagination of investors. In this beautiful picture of the Lake Atitlan from the East he advertises land for coffee farms. This image is important because it has the entire element described by A. H Hoy page 115, to be both a landscape and exploration photograph: formidable foreground for the viewer to position himself, to give a sense of depth the photographer alternate planes of dark and light . In addition Eadweard Muybridge is including a human figure to have a sense of proportion as Timothy O'Sullivan did. All this was common knowledge based in the training as painters like Gustave Le Gray. Mr. Le Gray in his famous photograph The Great Wave is “full a romantic admiration for the power of rolling waves and clouds produced with two plates because the wet collodion was not very sensitive to blue and green”(116). On the other hand E. Muybridge in his portable studio in Guatemala, he did not have that capabilities to alter or enhance the print, but he is trying to convey the idea of the power of nature, when masterly covers the sky with branches. In the picture, also Eadweard Muybridge is posing himself as the romantic viewer astonished by the beauty of the landscape with two volcanoes in the back ground and the immensity of the of the lake are the alternate planes of dark and light. And at the same time his pictures are opening the new frontier for exploration.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This famous picture by Alexander Gardner from his Photographic Sketch Book of the War is a very dramatic theme it is a straight forward frame the focus is not the dead soldier but his rifle. It is hard to believe the rifle was originally in that exact position, and also the the soldier uniform and the blanket under his head seems to be arranged for the picture. That intervention of the historic scene remains me to a still life composition by Adolhe Braun, more than a photo journalist work. The picture of the dead soldier frame by the two boulders and the rifle with the rock arrangement as it background has an instant effect on the viewer.It is starking and more so at that time 1863.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some thoughts about myself

.Hola My interest in photograph comes from a long time ago, I shear it with my father, he took me to the photo club many years ago. Since them I had this inclination for this form of art. when i studied art conservation and restoration, photography came out again. I was older, than when I went to the photo club wile I was revisiting photography at school I went and revisited the old pictures and they had a different meaning it was like re rereading a good book. That was then now fast forwarding to resent years I work at the Art Museum of the Americas, OAS, I am the exhibit coordinator, since 2004 we started a photography program at the museum. The Museum have a collection of photograph around 250 and growing, we started the exhibition program with a selection from the collection including some of artworks I collected for the Museum like Good Memory by Marcelo Brosky. On one occasion in 1998 I curated the exhibit of San Francisco base photographer Luis Delgado since then we established a good professional and personal relationship until today. Now I am working in a selection of portraits from the Museum Collection includding one by Luis. I will post the preliminary selection as soon i have manage how to do it. I enjoy looking at pictures, inspires my imagination. My knowledge on photography is limited i would like to learn more, specially about the history of photography.