1500 Gallery opened in New York City about a year ago with an exclusive focus on Brazilian photography making them the first gallery in the world with this specific focus. Now until March 26, 2011 they present the work of Claudio Edinger – arguably one of the most important Brazilian photographers from Brazil. The current exhibit entitled SAO PAULO AMBIGUOUS doesn’t simply reflect the city of Sao Paulo as much as the style that Edinger uses to portray the current city he resides in. Shooting on large format film with a Sinar 4×5 camera using selective focus, Edinger manipulated the alignment of the large format negative relative to the lens that created a distinctive distortion of focus. The ultimate effect can be mesmerizing to the viewer reflecting toy models of a city.
After meeting the photographer at his opening last week, I have a better understanding of an artist who is interested in presenting a different perspective of life for his audience. The packed opening at last week’s party all seemed to be drawn to the artist for his work but, also due to his magnetic energy. Always working and apparently open to modern technology, Edinger asked to shoot his press shot with myself on his iPhone and email it off to me. How cool is that!
Born in Rio but, grew up in Sao Paulo, Edinger spent the late ’70’s to the early 90’s in New York City publishing 3 books and teaching at famous schools as Parson’s, The School of Visual Art and The International Center of Photography. He told me he lived in the famous Chelsea Hotel and even as a book under the same name.
In 1989 Edinger gained access to the Juqueri Psychiatric Hospital, the largest insane asylum in Latin America. His Grandmother was the inspiration as she suffered from mental illness as she got older. Haunted by her decline, Edinger became fascinated and sensitive to arguably the most misunderstood segment of our population. Again pointing out life’s ambiguities, Edinger states in the book that here in New York City, New Yorkers are constantly surrounded by people who suffer from mental illness with its large homeless population often reflecting an even grander insane asylum of coexistence. He published the book, MADNESS in 1997.
Claudio Edinger’s exhibit, SAO PAULO AMBIGUOUS at 1500 Gallery: 511 W 25th Street #607 NY, NY 10001 212.255.2010 now through March 26th, 2011 in New York City.