An American in Paris (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Films on Paper
“I did a huge series of photomontages from 1952 to 1955. I later started to do photomontages applied to architecture. [...] I'd come back from Europe, where I'd had a scholarship, and I saw that I couldn't live from my painting.
The prisioner’s dream (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
I was doing interior design but I didn't like that very much. What I wanted was to do something that wasn't photography, or theater, or cinema."
The prisioner (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Movement on paper
“I started cutting out figures and putting them next to one another. It's an exercise in framing. It's something that, in my head, is perhaps linked to cinema, to movement. I'd make up little films about them.”
Invitation to drift
Sport and Comfort (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Capturing the viewer
"Athos gives narrative names to some of his photomontages: The view of Moscow - Life on Board is Lively (O olho de Moscou - Animada é a vida a bordo), Mrs. Vanderbilt's Nightmare (O pesadelo da Sra. Vanderbilt), Who Knows, in New Orleans? (Quem sabe, em Nova Orleans?). In others, he resorts to enigmatic names: The Double (O duplo), The Prisoner (A prisioneira), The Abyss (O Abismo). In all of them, he uses names that invite the viewer to drift, when we are captured inside his photo-movies, as Einstein explained."
The ballerina (1956) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
The artist revealed
“[...] When you look at the matrices in the photomontages, this merging of different sources can be seen in the different gray tones, in the different grain sizes from reticulation and the resulting differences in image definition, in the brush or pencil marks made by the artist."
The eye of Moscow - Life on board is lively (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Space and Movement
“[...] The idea of merging temporal (and narrative) representation into a single image (as if suddenly seeing it for the first time) already featured in his earlier work and he retained this approach throughout his art and architecture integration work.”
Children in Venice (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
“[...] The artist 'tones' the image, through test prints and darkroom work, until the desired result is reached and this is then multiplied in numbered series."
The cathouse (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
The Martian invasion (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
The death of a bullfighter (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Eye and technique
The picnic (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Image and logic
"Athos' work seeks to maintain, in the pasted parts, a relationship between photography and its logic. The montage formed partially from photographs is re-photographed for the new print…
Charity Ball (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
"In this way, the artist is able to achieve a uniformity in the surface and treatment, as the photographic code demands".
Who knows, in New Orleans? (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Subverting the rules
“Athos gets the balance of the montage right: the proportions of the cut-outs, the tones in the photographs, the light sources, the logical relationships between the parts (so he can then subvert them)."
"The thoroughness shown in integrating the key details and rephotographing the image for the new relationship are stages in producing the final version of the photomontage".
Travel memories - The Tourist I (1952) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Travel memories - The tourist II (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
The pub (1953) by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Art and banality
“The photograph looks 'normal' (surface, light, tones, proportions) except for the fact that … the head doesn't match the body, there's a rhino in the mix."
Untitled by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
Untitled by Athos BulcãoFundação Athos Bulcão
"Athos does not make the image more reliable than the real world. Surprise, criticism, and humor produce a new 'pathos' for the old sameness in photographs, which have become trite through being an everyday medium."
Fundação Athos Bulcão
Selection of excerpts and images: Vitor Borysow
Citações de Athos Bulcão:
Habitante do Silêncio. Entrevista concedida a Carmem Moretzsohn. Jornal de Brasília, 2 de julho de 1998. In: Athos Bulcão. ed. 2. Editora Fundação Athos Bulcão. Brasília. 2009
Textos de "Convite à deriva" retirados do artigo de Marília Panitz, "O imaginário segundo Athos Bulcão". Catálogo da Exposição 100 Anos de Athos Bulcão. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, 2018-2019.
Textos de "Olhar e técnica" retirados do artigo de Paulo Herkenhoff, "Para ver melhor Athos Bulcão". In: Athos Bulcão. ed. 2. Editora Fundação Athos Bulcão. Brasília. 2009