Fracture, Disruption at 1500 Gallery

People / Places / Products / October 1, 2012

João Castilho is one of the most important art photographers to emerge in Brazil during the past decade. His work is one of the major pillars of what has been called “Imaginary Documentary,” and will be on display at 1500 Gallery in West Chelsea beginning on Oct. 3.

His”Disruption”  exhibition consists of 15 images from 2 different bodies of work (Spice and Vacant Lot) that intersect notions of  fracture, collapse and disruption.

The series Spice (Tempero) depicts interventions with spices (paprika and saffron) in Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, with an interplay between materials: salt, pepper and saffron. As the work makes reference to land art (interventions in landscape) and painting (the activation of empty, it also introduces white space with the pictorial elements of red and yellow). The interference color on white ends up creating a certain discontinuity in the landscape and disruption of order.

Vacant Lot (Lote Vago) is a series of photographs depicting the silhouettes of unemployed men hanging around a vacant lot on the outskirts of Bamako, Mali.  The subjects disrupt space and time in search of a way to defeat the boredom and emptiness that make up their lives. The subjects are directed by the photographer and are pictured in front of a wall. The way they were photographed nullifies any possibility of recognition. They are subjects without identity, and therefore, with no story.

A+A recently interviewed the artist via email:

How did you get started as a photographer?

I started as a documentary photographer,more interested in storytelling.  In recent years, while practicing the documentarism, I also started working with more conceptual images.

How long have you been working professionally?

I’ve been worked professionally for ten years.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I work with various equipment. It depends on the project. Professional digital cameras, amateur cameras, plastic cameras, film cameras, Webcams, etc..

What are you looking for in your subject matter?

I always start from a question, an idea, and then I try to transform it into images. What interests me is to produce thought.

What are you trying to achieve personally in your work?

What I try to achieve is a work that can communicate with the public and can simultaneously activate something in them.

Who is your primary audience?

People interested in contemporary art.

Where do you find your inspiration?

It comes from everywhere. From the daily life, a movie, a book, a word, an event, a dream…

Is there a recurring theme or message in your work?

The themes are always varied and are renewed in each work.

For more information, go to

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Mike Welton

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