Mario Cravo Neto: Photographs

ISBN 13: 9783905514339

Mario Cravo Neto: Photographs

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9783905514339: Mario Cravo Neto: Photographs
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Mario Cravo Neto, born in Bahia, Brazil, in 1947 and trained as a sculptor, has created a body of photographic work that is closely bound to the culture of his homeland in north-eastern Brazil. In his pictures he refers not only to the legacy of the Yoruba culture, rather he also reflects in the bodies and faces as well as the postures of his subjects the cultural, ethnic and racial interminglings of the native population. The photographs reveal an energy that is today still strongly rooted in myth. They are the staged expression of a state of mind informed by religious experience. The exotic qualities of the Afro-Brazilian culture, the magic of tribal shamanism and the baroque sensibility of Portuguese culture all melt into unity in his pictures. An exchange of powers takes place between living and nonliving matter, body and soul exist in a constant state of tension and continuing interplay between the erotic and the spiritual.

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Brazilian photographer Mario Cravo Neto draws both on his sculptural sense (he was trained as a sculptor) and the spirit of Afro-Brazilian culture to produce the sensual images presented in this book. Large, beautifully lighted, full-page close-ups, these pictures typically concentrate on heads or body fragments before each of which some common object--a stone, a bird, a dagger, an egg--is held up in a centered presentation, as though in a ritual offering. The darkness, the exquisitely described surfaces, and the sensuality of the rounded forms--both objects and body parts--educe a mystery at once bodily and metaphysical. Peter Weiermair gets it right when, in his introductory commentary, he names this mysterious effect the "beauty of archaic animality." Cravo Neto is a photographer to watch. Gretchen Garner

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Published by Edition Stemmle (1994)
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