The renowned photographer — recognized for potentiating plastic composition and beauty in its multiple senses with rare sensitivity in conventional support representations — brings to Galeria Millan one of the essays that instate a distinctive poetics in his extensive output. The series A caminho do mar, by Bob Wolfenson (1954, São Paulo) gathers photographs of passages by the city of Cubatão in a series of 16 images: six large-scale ones — 2 x 3m and 2 x 6m — printed in polycarbonate and ten light boxes.
Close to issues that are inserted in contemporary art, this work by Wolfenson was built from paradoxical atmospheres experienced during his childhood, when he traveled with his parents to the coast. On his way, passing by the industrial city, he watched the uncommon landscape in motion through the car windows. According to the artist, the lights, the smoke, the chimneys spitting fire, the whole of it surrounded by a grove, constituted a scary and attractive fictional setting that simultaneously heralded the idyllic summer vacation season.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve been a passerby and observer of the festive-mysterious and gloomy landscape of Cubatão, a sort of landscape insubordination — the anti-landscape — located at the exact boundary mountain-sea, a metaphorical landmark of the transition work- leisure”, declares Wolfenson. In his own words, when opting for these photographs he ended up by detaining and fixating the gaze in tableaux made from what was kinetic and fleeting, captured in this swift dislocation, framed by the windows of an automobile.
“The large size of the negatives — 20 x 25cm — as well as of the enlargements points out to this sense, enhancing the scene, charging it with details that are not seen by the naked eye. And what had been prefigured in my first passages — the speedy, unimportant landscape — magnetized me, making me become static before its mystery, which was at the same time attractive and frightening”, the artist explains. In this series, by abandoning the representation of reality, Wolfenson’s art sends us to the thought of French philosopher Théodore Jouffroy: “we are touched only by the invisible”.