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Raizes Bonitas
Valdir Cruz
Raizes Bonitas
Ed Barnas
Pau-ferro by Valdir Cruz. Source: valdircruz.com
Valdir Cruz, "Pau-ferro" 2009

Although he has lived in the US for over twenty-five years, much of Valdir Cruz’ photography has focused on the people, architecture, and landscape of Brazil. Raizes Bonitas, the title of his current exhibition at Throckmorton Fine Art, translates into English as “Pretty Roots” and intermixes twenty black and white images from two of his recent landscape projects: Raizes and Bonito.

Raizes is a comprehensive visual survey of trees within the State of Sao Paulo, each image titled with its Portuguese common name. The viewpoint varies from tree isolated in the landscape, to ones deep in the forest, to others close up, low angle images in particular grabbing my interest. The slightly oblique view of the Pau-mulato tree transformed its trunk into an almost human form, while a centered view of a Jequitiba-rosa, exhibited a degree of visual ambiguity (I could imagine turning it upside down and seeing roots in place of branches.) The most intriguing images were those of Pau-ferro trees. At a quick glance looking like aerial views, on closer inspection these turned out to be shot straight up with a wide field lens to capture the overhead canopy.

Segundo Surgencia do Rio Baia Bonita - 1 by Valdir Cruz. Source: valdircruz.com
Valdir Cruz, "Segundo Surgencia do Rio Baia Bonita - 1" 2008

Bonito is a documentation of the landscape and waters of Bonito in the Serra da Bodoquena, an area of pristine beauty and developing eco-tourism. Water predominates: swirling wellsprings, waterfalls, clear streams and rivers. Long exposures smooth the flowing surface in many of these images.

The prints are large (and deservedly so) – ranging in size from 38 x 30 to 47 x 35. Shot on large format analog film, they are not casual images. Rather, they are the result of much time and effort and show a considerable level of technical skill and patience. I am reminded of the early photographers of the American West whose work swayed Congress to establish our national park system in the respect and concern for the environment inherent in these images.

Valdir Cruz
Raizes Bonitas


Throckmorton
145 E 57th St. 3rd Fl
Midtown         Map

212 223 1059
throckmorton-nyc.com

Thursday, April 21 to
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 to 5
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery