strangefruits art & design portal
Paulo Arias
age: 29
country: Brazil
exposed: February 2007
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mugshot Paulo Arias
Please introduce yourself and tell us something about yourself and your background.
I was born in Santos in 1977, but grownup in São Paulo. Graduated in a Business School in 2001 and later moved to Britain were i´ve lived for almost 4 years and done a Post-Grad in International Business and an MBA. Worked for some NGOs around the globe and returned to Brazil in April last year. I am currently a Consultant on Corporate Social Responsibility and Professor at University Paulista in São Paulo.

What’s the central theme of your work?
I´ve been registering the places, landscape, people and culture of the countries i´ ve been while working on social and economic development. Now I am interested in Brazilian culture and people… The idea of having the third biggest Metropolis in the World right at my door step constantly makes me think on what mankind wants for its future…

What makes a good picture in your eyes?
A good timing, concept or just a good (sometimes a very good) explanation for it…

Where do you consider a photograph to be created? When it’s shot or when it’s

It depends.. it can happen either way, and might depend on the photographer and the technique used as well. For me when it is shot.

What ability are you currently missing in your equipment, camera or the software you work with?
Some may say a new camera, others my say lenses or a different filter. I will always say that i need more rechargeable batteries (charged, but that is something i usually forgot to do..).

In what way do you use the Internet? What role does the computer play in your work?
With so much information around these days, people are eating statistics and numbers for breakfast. The internet is the highway to knowledge but it should be available to all. In my case its difficult not to exchange e-mails everyday, to visit universities, organizations and photographers through my laptop.

What means or ways do you use to show your work to the (outside) world?
I have my website at www.monochrome-reality showing some of my photography work. I am now working on a solo exhibition, a photo essay on São Paulo and a new portfolio.

Pixel or Grain?
I will always enjoy the sound and weight of my 35mm… but I am using a lot more digital since I got a new one about a year ago...

Concept or Moment?
Moment. My work is based on that... maybe it fits on the concept of my website, sometimes it does not. I will always be learning something new anyway and my vision is constantly changing.

The thin line between art & design is sometimes hard to define. Do you consider you work to be art or design? Why?
Art. It is my way of sharing my ideas with the world… of creating something out of a blank paper..

What inspires you?
I get inspiration from people in general. Everyone should stop and look around for a bit. Everyone is different in every way. These differences should not be a problem as it always has been… our evolution depends on sharing knowledge, promoting human rights and respecting our differences. We act as our worst enemies. It makes me believe in change of behaviour as consumers and on how we interact with each other. The ideal of social justice should inspire everyone. This may reflects on my photography in many ways.

If you had an unlimited budget and all the time you needed. What would you do?
Travel a lot, always bringing my bicycle… get in touch with different people from different places every month, hopefully returning with tons of photos.

How do to you keep your knowledge up to date? Do you spread your knowledge at
universities, conferences or workshops and so on?

I read a lot. Funny sometimes is that i usually find myself interested in old economic, politics and development books trying to understand what went wrong, thinking about the price or risk someone forgot to mention. I try mostly to share knowledge with anyone interested on it. It can be on the field, a simple cup of coffee or in a conference. The important is to question everything.

Who is your favorite artist/photographer? Why?
Unfair to name just one, so I will say three names, all from Brazil: Marc Ferraz, Sebastião Salgado and Araquém Alcântara. All because of their visions, usually showing the reasons Brazil has to find a way for the future in itself. Their work goes beyond photography and that’s very interesting for me.

Which project or website would you like to have made, or make?
I visited the website of photographer Keith Green and I found some images of Dee Dee Ramone, former bass player of the Ramones (the best rock n´roll band ever). I truly wish I was there. That’s part of music history. I can only imagine how much fun it was.

Final words?
If you have a spare camera you not using, give it to someone. I which my first bicycle came with one attached on it.. ?>