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MICHEL PASSOS ZYLBERBERG

ARCHITECTURE | DOCUMENTARY | LANDSCAPE | PORTRAITURE

Photography is a journey that begins as a child. Itajubá-Fortaleza, my father driving my mother and my siblings: three thousand kilometers to run fast behind a car window, an unpretentious camera, faces and views forever on a negative.

Or it is an afternoon in a room of my house, old albums in my hands as if they were football players’ stickers. Instead, they are shots taken somewhen by someone, that you leaf through ravished by their charm and one day, although you do not imagine you will, you look on your computer screen, retouching the ugly signs of the past.

Thus begins a profession that was born as a first instinct: in Brazil, where I grew up and I studied multimedia design at the University of São Paolo, before leaving for a few months for the USA, then longer for Australia, and finally Switzerland, in Canton Tessin since 2006.

Goodbyes that become farewells, transformations, new lives and always the same passion that gets stronger and evolves. It goes along with the changes by changing in turn: the film, the digital, then return to the analog again, developing a potential that seemed certainly replaced. In the cellar in Lugano converted to a darkroom, where a collection of experiences and equipment were piling up, I was spending my spare time, stealing it from my public life: two daughters, a job as a graphic designer, my sleeping time shortened to a minimum.

Until I decided. This time I did not leave a place and beloved people. I left a permanent position and what I relied on, finding a way to reinvent myself again - and get inside of my soul. Et voilà, Michel Zylberberg, a photographer. The man who paradoxically flees the lens, but keeps like a treasure his self-portrait at 15, pioneer of something that would later become a sensational trend, called a selfie.

Speciality: everything and nothing, because I don’t like to lock myself into a definition, I hate to impose any boundaries on myself. I seize the day, I exploit the opportunity. Portrait, landscapes, nighttime photographs, every kind of event; and architecture, first of all, which has always fascinated me and which now I try to capture in a picture- it is a balancing act.

Subject, approach, personal technique: thus a palace, its inside and outside, becomes a work of art with my signature on it. But it never turns out to be a prison. Many years have passed and I persist in flying free from an insight to the next one, one topic to the following, because photography is not a constraint, it is a whole. It is “to align your mind, your eye, your heart”. It is “a lifestyle”. Cartier-Bresson’s word.

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