Miguel Rio Branco: Maldicidade
Miguel Rio Branco unites more than four decades of work across several major cities into one astonishing poetic statement on urban life. Eschewing city landmarks or aspirational ideals, Rio Branco turns his lens to common threads of struggle in metropolises around the globe. Maldicidade is a collection in which all urban dwellers will find something of themselves, or something they long to escape.
While subtle details reveal the specificity of place, it is the commonality of urban experience at the heart of Rio Branco’s project. Light on local context or explanatory narrative, the images are instead meticulously arranged into one redolent sequence of a universal city. Working as if in the cutting studio, Rio Branco excels in the rhythm and succession of pictures, crafting evocative patterns of motif (decrepit buildings, lone figures, smashed-up cars); color (rich reds, dusty pinks, stark whites and blues); and form (an anguished street sleeper beside an ecstatic statue of a saint). Throughout, occasional pictures of women are proffered as sensual, hopeful reprieve, interspersing the grit and the grime in commanding portraits or up-close, supple nudes.
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