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The naked eye of Rogério Reis


Rogério Reis (Rio de Janeiro, 1954) occupies a special place on the Brazilian photographic scene. First as a press photographer and then a photo editor, he covered, from the decline of the military dictatorship at the end of the 1970s, the decisive events in the process of democratization of the country.

These social and political metamorphoses, he documented them from Rio, a city with an extraordinary topography which brings together the wonders as well as the miseries of this tropical civilization constantly being reinvented that is Brazil. And with this Brazil, the photographer himself reinvented himself, his work becoming over time more subjective and more artistic, while remaining the expression of a critical look on his hometown and what it has which is in essence brazilian.

At the end of the 1980s, Rogério Reis photographed the exploits of young people from the suburbs who defied death by surfing on moving trains. At the same time, he set up an outdoor studio to document the street carnival and captured the collective imagination. He was also interested in football, that irreparable passion that anthropologist Darcy Ribeiro defines as “the homeland of the ordinary Brazilian”. Columnist of the street, he recorded the daily life of the city, where the social divide is obvious. In the 2010s, Rogério Reis observed the evolution of the behavior of the population towards photographers in the series Nobody Belongs to Nobody.

The book Olho nu (“The naked eye”), edited by photographer João Farkas and published in Sao Paulo by the Olga Kos Institute, presents a selection of images taken over the past forty years, some of which unpublished that emanates from a new look at the artist’s archives.

Cristianne Rodrigues

Exhibition Curator

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