São Paulo is a huge city. Many times its inhabitants don’t have a face, lost in the crowd that walks between work, home and few moments of fun. Its architecture is also misshapen in many moments, with buildings, stiles and heights overlapping, turning the biggest Brazilian city into chaos for eyes not used to the sight.
In downtown São Paulo is possible to see the origins of this uncontrolled growth, with big sets of buildings intertwined. The masses of people are also present downtown, coming to work, running for lunch, in the marathon back home. There the city and its inhabitants are nearer, in a more profound symbiosis than usual.
São is a series of diptychs that explores the relation between what’s built and the people who live and work in downtown São Paulo. The duos are always divided equally between buildings and men, with compositions that unite the two images by parallels of color or form.
In the images of são the built and the humane fill the frame completely. There’s no breathing room, no sky. São Paulo can create that feeling in its visitors, with high buildings, near each other, practically conjoined. The masses of people who walk fast trough the central streets can also drag you, leaving immersed in a sea of people. São seeks for order in this chaos, looking for patterns in the disorder and uniting images that give the tone of the life in downtown São Paulo. São is a series from the streets, from observation, that seeks to externalize the life of people immersed in the heart of one of the most populated cities in the world.
Q&A with Felipe Abreu
It’s the thing I like doing the most. It makes me happy to see, to make and to have people seeing my pictures. For me it’s the greatest visual expression of our era and it still has a lot of undiscovered creative possibilities.
Photography and writing…
Two different ways of communicating, that sometimes can help and sometimes can hurt each other. For a long time photography was seen as a lesser form of communication, but now most people are using images as a way of sharing their feelings and ideas. This new imagistic world is very exciting for me.
Who left the biggest impression on you?
In this last year I saw a big change in the role of street photography in Brazil. Photographers documenting the big riots we had last year, making visual diaries, looking for new ways of expressing themselves. This whole scene is still leaving a big impression on me.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a 24-year-old photographer and videomaker who just moved from São Paulo to Los Angeles. I’ve been working with images for the last 5 or 6 years. As a photographer I love to engage in personal projects, exploring issues that are fond to me. Also, for the last three years I’ve been producing an online magazine, called OLD, that showcases the work of young photographers from around the world.