Brazilian Photographer Julio Bittencourt to Exhibit at 1500 Gallery
September 21, 2011 - January 28, 2012
NEW YORK - 1500 Gallery is pleased to present Ramos, an exhibition of color photographs by Julio Bittencourt, one of Brazil's most acclaimed and recognized emerging photographers. Ramos consists of 5 prints at 43" x 65" (110 x 165 cm), a polyptych of 6 prints at 26" x 39" (67 x 100 cm), as well as a stop-motion video. Ramos will be on view from September 21, 2011 - January 28, 2012. There will be a reception for the artist at 1500 Gallery on Wednesday, September 21, 6-8 pm. Ramos was curated by Ilana Bessler, 1500's Sao Paulo-based curator.
Ramos... The Princess of the Sea doesn't come to this beach, nor does the Girl from Ipanema. Those who go to Ramos beach are of a different sort, and have a completely different set of beauty standards: not those from the pages of our fashion magazines, but rather generous, succulent curves - curves begging to be squeezed, proudly displayed by women who, as they look into the camera, seem to be saying "there are those who prefer it this way..."
Piscinao de Ramos, or "Ramos Swimming Pool" as it is known in Portuguese, is an artificial salt-water lake located in an area called Ramos, amidst a vast area of favelas (shantytowns) in Rio de Janeiro. It is a public park consisting of artificial lake and surrounding beach, as well as a few soccer fields and other sports facilities. It was inaugurated in 2001 by the State Government of Rio de Janeiro andPetrobras (Brazil's national oil company), and to much controversy: many of Rio's inhabitants understood it to be a blatantly political act aimed at winning votes from the outskirts of the city. The immediate vicinity of the park is surrounded by 15 different favelas, run by competing factions of drug-trafficking gangs who operate as de facto governments within those communities. Although violence still plagues many of those favelas, the park itself has been mostly free of such problems, at least in and around the lake.
Ramos is crowded, noisy, and polluted, and known for its eccentric characters and an intense display of the beachside enjoyment for which Brazil is famous worldwide. Here, in this photoshop-free paradise, no social hierarchy exists to define what is cool and what is kitsch, it's all blended together by a common joie de vivre. Here what matters is not looking good for the camera, but rather feeling the sun on one's skin, getting drunk on cachaça (Brazilian rum), and splashing the time away.
Julio Bittencourt is one of Brazil's most important emerging photographers. After living in New York from 1996-2000, Julio returned to Brazil and started working at the newspaper Valor Economico in Sao Paulo as a photographer and assistant photo editor. Since 2006 Julio has been working as an independent photographer. Julio's projects have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and his work published in magazines such as Geo, Stern, Le Monde, The Guardian, Esquire, Photo, and Leica World Magazine, among others. In 2008 he published his first book, In a window of Prestes Maia 911 Building, the culmination of a three year project featuring the residents of a squatted building in Sao Paulo. Ramos is his most recent artistic project. Julio's work resides in several important public and private collections in Brazil, including the Sao Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Itaú Cultural, and the Pinatoca do Estado de São Paulo. He currently lives in Sao Paulo. For more information, see About Julio Bittencourt on 1500 Gallery's website.
About 1500 Gallery
1500 Gallery is located in New York City's West Chelsea gallery district and specializes in Brazilian photography - the first gallery in the world with this explicit focus. 1500 represents several of the most recognized Brazilian art photographers, both emerging and established, with works present in major collections in Brazil and worldwide. 8 of 1500's photographers are present in the Sao Paulo Museum of Art's collection of photography. 1500 was founded in 2010 by Alexandre Bueno de Moraes and Andrew S. Klug. For more information, visit www.1500gallery.com