Paper: 19 x 23 in.
Viewable Image: 15.75 x 15.75 in.
Framed: 26.75 x 26.75 in.
'Voodoo Figure' encompasses Mario Cravo Neto’s style of visual intensity, capturing a man in the throes of voodoo ritual. The figure, devoid of identity in this photographic moment, is captured in a display of all-consuming spiritualism. The splattered mud on his skin and hair highlights Cravo Neto’s concern with textural aesthetics, allowing for light/dark contrasts to play throughout the composition. Regardless of whether the rituals of Voodoo are known to the viewer, Cravo Neto has created an image that is universally understood to convey a sacred moment.
Bahia-born artist Mario Cravo Neto (1947-2009) created a successful career by photographing ritual and spiritual subject matter through a contemporary lens. Educated at the Art Students League of New York in 1969, Cravo Neto brought back what he had learned while studying in the United States to his native Brazil, where he became one of the leading artists of his generation. Initially interested in sculpture, Cravo Neto later turned to black and white photography in the late sixties in conjunction with his time spent in New York. His photographs depict the Indigenous, Portuguese, and African communities that currently co-exist in Bahia, Brazil and combines undertones of themes such as religion verses eroticism, or man verses nature. Cravo Neto’s photographs invite the viewer to explore a world and set of traditions that are both unfamiliar and intriguing, while examining the coexistence of sexual and spiritual imagery. Cravo Neto’s solo exhibitions have extended throughout his career, including several at the Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego, CA (1994); Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY (2005); and Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris, France (2010).
Selected Public Collections:
Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Bahia, Salvador, Brazil
The Brooklyn Museum, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
The Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA
Paper: 19 x 23 in.