Magnum Photos Photographer Profile
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Miguel Rio Branco 

Spanish, b. 1946 (Correspondent) 


<h1>Miguel Rio Branco</h1>
<p><strong>Spanish, b. 1946</strong></p>
<p>Son of diplomats, Miguel Rio Branco spent his childhood in Portugal, Switzerland, Brazil and the United States. He has variously been a painter, a photographer a filmmaker. His first painting exhibition was in Bern in 1974, while he was living in Switzerland. Two years later, he moved to New York, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts, continued to paint, and took a one-month vocational course at the New York Institute of Photography. In 1978, he continued his studies in Rio de Janeiro, at the Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial, before launching into a career in photography and film. </p>
<p>Rio Branco was a freelance photographer and director of photography for movies when he embarked on documentary photography and was soon noticed for the dramatic quality of his color work. In 1980, he became an associate with Magnum Photos. Fascinated by places of strong contrast, in the power of tropical colors and light, he made Brazil his main area of exploration. In 1985, he published <em>Dulce Sudor Amargo</em>, a book in which he drew a parallel between the sensual, vital side of Salvador da Bahia and the historical side of the city, which, at the time (1979) was inhabited by prostitutes and the fringe elements of society. It is an essay on life and death, on the scars left behind by time and by living. The photographer&rsquo;s fascination for these places of strong contrast essentially resides in the power of the tropical colors and light, which he conveys by means of his pictorial sensibility. </p>
<p>Rio Branco's obsession with the material power of images continued with <em>Nakta</em> in 1996, a book exploring the theme of bestiary in man and animal that marked a move away from a documentary approach. He followed this with a visual and poetic project fueled by a happy encounter with Louis Calaferte&rsquo;s poem &ldquo;Nuit Close&rdquo;, a collaboration that won the Prix du Livre Photo in Arles. <em>Silent Book</em>, published in 1997, presents tableaux of bodies and spaces affected by time; decrepitude is magnified by the light, and wounded flesh, aging, and death haunt the work through earthy and blood red colors. </p>
<p>His book <em>Entre os Olhos o Deserto</em> demonstrates an evolution towards a hybrid form using photography and video images extracted from Rio Branco's experimental films. Similarly, his exhibitions function as installations, a concept that is crucial to his work, so that &ndash; without neglecting the importance of the single image &ndash; creating a discourse through images is the final aim.  As his latest book and exhibition, <em>Plaisir la douleur</em>, confirms it.</p>
<p>1997        Prix du Livre Photo, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France<br>1994        VITAE grant (for series <em>Santa Rosa</em>)<br>1988        Brazilian Film Festival (Best Director of Photography for <em>Memoria Viva </em>and <br>               <em>Aboli&ccedil;ao</em>), Bras&iacute;lia, Brazil <br>1986        Special Prize for video <em>Apaga-te-S&eacute;samo, </em>Festival International Short Films,<br>               Salvador do Bahia, Brazil <br>1982        Prix Sp&eacute;cial du Jury and the International Critics Award, XI Festival du Film <br>               de Court M&eacute;trage et du Film Documentaire, Lille, France<br>1982        Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique, Paris, France<br>1980        Grand Prize of the Photography Triennial, Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil </p>
<p>2005        <em>Plaisir la douleur</em> - Maison europ&eacute;enne de la Photographie, Paris, France<br>2004/05   <em>Gritos Surdos - </em>Galeria Milan Antonio, Sao Paulo, Brazil;<br>               Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France<br>2003        <em>Door in Darkness</em> - Aperture's Burden Gallery, New York, USA<br>2002        <em>Objetos Diretos</em> - Galeria Paulo Fernandes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil<br>2001/05   <em>Nakta</em> - Galeries Fnac Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Toulouse, France; Paris, France      <br>2001        <em>Gritos Surdos</em> - Centro Portugueses de Fotografia, Porto, Portugal<br>2000        <em>Door into Darkness</em> - Hellenic American Union, Athens, Greece<br>2000        <em>Pele do Tempo</em> - Centro de Arte H&eacute;lio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil<br>2000/04   <em>Beauty the Beast</em> - William Benton Museum, University of Connecticut,<br>               USA; Art Institute of Boston, USA; Haggerty Museum of Art, <br>               Marquette University, Milwaukee, USA<br>1999/01   <em>Entre los Ojos</em> - Fundacion La Caixa, Barcelona, Spain; Fundacion <br>               La Caixa, Palma de Majorque, Spain; Centro Insular de Culura, Las Palmas <br>               de Gran Canaria Spain; Sala de Exposiciones Alameda, Malaga, Spain;<br>               Colexio de Fonseca, Santiago de Compostella, Spain, Centro Cultural de la Villa, <br>               Madrid, Spain<br>1997/98   <em>Nakta </em>- D'Amelio Terras Gallery, New York, USA; Galleria Oliva Arauna, <br>               Madrid, Spain; Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, USA<br>1993/96   <em>Out of  Nowhere</em> - Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; IFA Gallery, Stuttgart, <br>               Germany; Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Fotografie Forum , <br>               Frankfurt, Germany<br>1993        <em>Bestiario</em> - Centro de estudios Romulo Gallegos, Caracas, Venezuela<br>1991        <em>Petites r&eacute;flexions sur une certaine bestialit&eacute; - </em>Rencontres d'Arles, France<br>1988        <em>Suadouro</em> - Galerie 1900-2000, Paris, France<br>1987        <em>Cora&ccedil;ao espelho da carne</em> - Fotoptica, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Fotogaleria Funarte,<br>               Rio de Janeiro, Brazil<br>1985        <em>Coeur miroir de la chair - </em>galerie Magnum, Paris, France<br>1978/79   <em>Negativo Sujo</em> - Escola de Artes Visuals, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Theater Castro<br>               Alves, Salvador do Bahia, Brazil; Nucleo de Arte Contemporanea, Joao Pessao,<br>               Brazil, Museu de Arte, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil<br>1974        <em>Photographs</em> - Galeria Grupo B, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      </p>
<p>2005        <em>Plaisir la douleur,</em> &eacute;ditions Textuel,  France<br>2002      <em>  Entre os Olhos, o Deserto,</em> Cosac &amp; Naify, Brazil<br>2002        <em>Gritos Surdos,</em> Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Portugal<br>1999        <em>Pele do Tempo,</em> Centro de Arte H&eacute;lio Oiticica, Brazil<br>1998        <em>Miguel Rio Branco,</em> Aperture, USA<br>1997        <em>Silent Book,</em> Cosac &amp; Naify, Brazil<br>1996        <em>Nakta</em>, Multiprint Grafica e Editoria Ltda., Brazil<br>1985        <em>Dulce Sudor Amargo</em>, Fondo de Cultura Economico, Mexico<br> </p>