Gustavo Lacerda. What I am now is the sum of what I was before

Author: Luisa Bernal

Section: LAB

Date: 09.2013


Despite the number of images that bombard us every day, there are some photographers who still manage to catch our eye. Very often this is a result of the particular beauty of the images. There are also projects which, apart from mere beauty, cause us to reflect on the subjects and change the way we look at them. With his series dedicated to albinos, Gustavo Lacerda has achieved this objective.

Gustavo Lacerda was born in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) in 1970 and has lived in Sao Paolo since the year 2000. After studying journalism he began work as a photojournalist. His photographs have caught the eye of many people in the art and advertising fields.


Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB

Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB

Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB


Gustavo, Did your journalism studies condition you into developing a personal way of seeing things, one that is heedful not just of the aesthetic aspects but also the social context?
I think so, yes. I chose journalism because I like to read and to work in a field that allows me to learn about people and do something that may even be useful.


How did you first start working as a photographer?
I began as an assistant in a small studio in my home town, where I learnt about the technical aspects and possibilities of photography. At the same time I was lucky enough to have studied in a university where the professors had spoken to me about Diane Arbus, Robert Frank and many other great photographers.


Which aesthetic movements interest you?
I’m very fond of cinema, particularly Antonioni and the early films of Wim Wenders. I also like Dennis Hopper. In general, as a lover of portraits, the Renaissance and Impressionism are major influences.


What are you trying to communicate?
I think all artists tell a lot about themselves. My motivations are connected to my passion. I like to work with subjects that really move me, that make me feel more alive and more human, even while I increasingly discover how incomplete and imperfect we are. It’s possible that my art helps me to connect to myself.


What was the origin of the series dedicated to albinos?
The ‘Albinos’ series grew from my interest in people who are “different”. When I did a little research about albinos, I realised that they are socially invisible. In my country, for example, there are not even any statistics about the number of albinos. They live on a secondary plane and they feel excluded and discriminated against. On the basis of these findings, I wanted to portray them, appreciate their beauty and put them in the spotlight.


What has this series meant to your career?
I think this series has added my name to the artistic scene. While I have always worked on personal projects, before this I was always considered a commercial photographer.


Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB

Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB

Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB


Can you identify an evolution in your work, and in what direction is that evolution headed?
Yes, of course. Since my very first project, I have always preferred working with people who are on a secondary plane. Ordinary people are more interesting, more human and imperfect, like I am. I think nowadays I am more capable of producing work that has a greater consistency because I do a lot of research before I start.


The last objective you have attained?
My latest project was ALBINOS, and I am still working on that, preparing the book. At the same time I am preparing a new project with the provisional title of METANOIA.


Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB

Gustavo Lacerda l DRESSLAB


What is your dream project?
I don’t really have a “dream project”. In my case the best projects begin on a small scale and, little by little, my passion for the subject converts it into something bigger and better.


What are your greatest professional and personal fears?
I don’t generally think about that… My professional fear is probably that my work be ignored. To do something that nobody is interested in.
On a personal level, my fears are related to the kind of world my daughter will grow up in.


What project do you most identify with?
As an artist, I identify the most with the project I am currently working on, but I also feel very much in touch with my previous work. What I am now is the sum of what I was before.


What is your ideal creative environment?
The “ideal environment” manifests itself when your “internal environment” is good, so, whenever that happens.


+ info_ Gustavo Lacerda

Text_ Luisa Bernal



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