“If there’s no story behind it, it’s just a couple of pixels” – Brandon Wilkins
It appears that “culture, belief, history and the universal aspects of human nature” might all play a part in the way we interpret ‘truth’ and it is this theme that we have found to be a connecting thread in photographer Sandra Cattaneo Adorno’s work. Full of scenes that seem extremely delicate and fragile, in a way that is almost too perfect for this world, like fragments of reality as she perceives it to be.
Growing up in Rio de Janeiro during the 1950s and ‘60s, Sandra Cattaneo Adorno spent her childhood in Ipanema, just as bossa nova music captured the global imagination. After taking up photography, Cattaneo Adorno returned to the landscape of her childhood in 2018 to create Águas de Ouro (Portuguese for “waters of gold”) and now she is embarking on a new chapter in life. At a time when many people her age are beginning to slow down, Cattaneo Adorno is creating a new path as an older woman in a culture that venerates youth.
During covid-19 when we retreated indoors, and nightlife venues, galleries, and shops all shuttered – such delicate and freeing photography has offered a visual escape from our isolated lives, allowing us to dream of coming together and letting loose once again. This perhaps is the reason we immediately fell in love with Sandra Cattaneo Adorno’s work. Her dreamy photographs allowed us to dream we were on an alternate universe with white-sand beaches under an everlasting sun.
What is unusual about her work is that her images seem to focus on emotion, because there is so much motion in the photos, that the viewer is instantaneously thrown into the scene where the picture was taken. Sandra’s photos allow the illusion of movement even when it’s printed on paper. That’s the magic and uniqueness of a great photographer and a true testament to her years of experience in perfecting her craft.
Sandra is looking within for intimacy, presence, and a connection to something other than the physical to capture the essence of any scene, so we are so thrilled to announce that On April 23, 2022, she will debut her first solo exhibition at the 6th edition of Personal Structures, which runs parallel to the 59th Venice Biennale. Curated by Women Street Photographers founder Gulnara Samoilova, the exhibition features selections from Cattaneo Adorno’s monographs Águas de Ouro and Scarti di Tempo (Radius Books, 2020 and July 2022)
These are universal questions. And therein lies the quiet, but mighty, magic of Sandra Cattaneo Adorno’s work: with each ray of light that falls upon glistening skin – any viewer can see themselves. They can recognize the love and closeness that they, too, have felt, and that’s helped them become who they are.