Claudio Edinger at 1500 Gallery

With the opening of Brazilian native Claudio Edinger’s new photography show at 1500 Gallery in West Chelsea, gallery co-owner Andrew Klug says he’s hit the cover off the ball.

The show, “Sao Paolo Ambiguous,” opens Dec. 1 and runs through March 26, 2011.

The twelve photographs, mostly architectural, were taken in the photographer’s home town of Sao Paolo.  They were shot with a large format, 4 x 5 Sinair camera via selective focus.  Claudio, a pioneer in the process along with Italian Olivo Barbieri, manipulated the placement of the negative in the camera.  The effect yields images that train the eye, laser-like, on a specific image while its surroundings are less well-focused.

Distortions are reduced.  The subject is enhanced.  And the main effect is to place the viewer in a near-god or giant-like position, as though looking down at an architectural model with child-like wonder.

“It’s like looking at something that’s real, but that’s a toy,” Andrew said. 

Among the subject matter are Oscar Niemeyer’s’ Biennial, the rain forest at Sao Paolo’s center and a ceiling in one of the city’s cathedrals.

Claudio shoots with film, then scans the images and prints them digitally. 

Since the late 1970s, his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Life, Time and Newsweek.

In 1978, he had his first U.S. solo exhibition, Hassidic Jews, at the International Center of Photography in New York.  To research it, he spent two years living among Brooklyn’s Hassidic.  He’s published more than a dozen books, including  “Chelsea Hotel” (1983), “Venice Beach” (1985), and “The Making of Ironweed“(1988).  He taught at Parson’s School of Design/The New School from1979-1993, at the School of Visual Arts from 1980-1982, and at the International Center of Photography from 1992–1993.

In 1989 and 1990, Claudio photographed patients at the Juqueri Psychiatric Hospital in São Paulo, the largest insane asylum in Latin America, after spending weeks living among them.  The resulting work, “Madness,” was published in 1997, and received the Ernst Haas Award.

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