Collectives, is a series of aerial imageries by Brazilian photographer and artist Cássio Campos Vasconcellos, made from articulated photos captured during helicopter flights. On-going for almost 5 years, the project consists of large-format works portraying chaotic urban landscapes and exploring “jam-packed situations typical of our civilization”. Aiming to showcase the impact of human activity on the world, the collection of images is a visual investigation of our consumer society.
Vasconcellos, active since 1981, has had his images exhibited over 200 times in twenty countries. In Collectives, the artist produces visuals constructed by using hundreds of photos shot during the project and shot at the right angle. Between fiction and reality, the final images are compositions of color, line, and geometry, works of art that seek to “make visible” the impact of human activity on the world. Producing what would be the opposite effect of digital photography, these large-format works generate a canvas of patterns at a distance. In fact, elements become clearer when the viewer gets closer.
Exploring the urban chaos of modern civilization, the images highlight crowded beaches; cluttered car parking lots; motorcycle gatherings; huge aircraft boneyards in the US; masses of people; and the truck pandemonium in São Paulo’s Ceasa, Latin America’s largest municipal fresh food wholesale market.
On another hand, Cássio Vasconcellos has six books published, countless awards and his photographs are exhibited in Brazil’s main private collections as well in museums such as the MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil, and abroad in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, France and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, US. Moreover, his series “Nocturnes São Paulo” can be admired along with today’s renowned professionals in the craft in the pages of “The World Atlas of Street Photography” (Thames & Hudson, England / Yale University Press, USA, 2014).
In 2020, the Brazilian photographer released Coletivos, “a visual essay that offers an intriguing point of view on the recent drastic events we have all been affected by”. Actually, the collection of photographs, from his ongoing series Collectives, “presents a series of complex and intricate compositions to reimagine the relationships between us and the space we live in”.
Revealing an overwhelming urban life, the converted aerial shots showcase a near-dystopian view of the world. In fact, the book reinterprets Vasconcellos’ striking images, adding a graphic layer by Kenzo Mayama Kramarz, a designer, and co-founder of London-based design studio MAKE. Bringing distancing into the equation, “the overall design language aims to enhance the perception of a new gestalt that has been gradually unveiling itself”. Finally, the project is one of a series of eight photography books edited by Lucas Lenci and Andre Matarazzo.
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