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RIO BRANCO, Miguel

PORTRAIT-BRANCOBorn in 1946 at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.

Lives and works in Rio de Janeiro.


Son of Brazilian diplomats, he has lived in Portugal, Switzerland and New York as well as in Brazil, and so has a multicultural background. Now living and working in Rio de Janeiro, he is a painter, photographer, film and video maker, and a creator of audiovisual installations. He has also been a Magnum Photos correspondent since 1980.

His work is based on the construction of a poetic discourse shifting from one form of visual expression to another without losing its existential essence or critical point of view. It could be said that his use of medium format photography (especially 6×6) since the early 1990s has given his work a more metaphysical bent: less and less realistically descriptive but not formally abstract either. Time can be considered his main area of focus. 

His current projects go well beyond traditional photography: he uses a range of materials and is working on three-dimensional projects in which architecture and the use of plants and trees is beginning to play an increasingly important part.


Miguel Rio Branco presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 1991 at the Chapelle Saint Jean de Moustier and in 2005: Gritos Surdos at the Eglise des Frères-Prêcheurs.