Through a partnership with the artist himself, the IMS took on the protection and preservation of the photographic works of Thomaz Farkas, comprising over 34,000 images that range from 1940-1990. A multifaceted figure who also made a profound mark on the Brazilian cultural scene as a businessman – at the head of Fotoptica, the company inherited from his father – and a man of cinema, Farkas composed a vast photographical oeuvre with a strong authorial voice that would be appreciated as a whole only late in his life, in the 1990s.
Farkas’ main influence at the time was the American movement of direct photography, represented by such figures as Paul Strand (1890-1976), Ansel Adams (1902-1984), and Edward Weston (1886-1964), with whom Farkas came to correspond. His main subject in the 1940s was the city of São Paulo as it underwent an accelerated process of modernization; he tackled it in search of new and unexpected compositions, presaging the constructivist art of the next decade with his geometric abstractionism. At the same time, he tried out surrealist images.