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Photos by Pierre Verger and Mario Cravo Neto


Mario Cravo Neto

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Mario Cravo Neto was born April 20, 1947 in Salvador da Bahia, where he currently lives and works. He grew up among the artistic circles of his native city and was first exposed to sculpture and photography at the age of seventeen. During these years he comes to know Pierre Verger, who, as a friend of his father, the sculptor Mario Cravo Júnior, was a frequent guest of the family.

In 1964, by invitation of the Ford Foundation and the Senate of West Berlin, his father participates in a Berlin-based artist-in-residence program and spends a year there together with his family. Mario Cravo Neto uses this time working artistically and increasing his contact with circles of European artists and intellectuals. In 1968 he moves to New York City to study under the sculptor Jack Krueger, a leading representative of Conceptual Art, at the Art Student League. The following two years prove to be fundamentally important for Cravo Neto’s future artistic work. Cited from this period are the color photo-series entitled On the Subway, first published in the magazine Camera 35, and black-and-white photography dealing with the loneliness of people in the metropolis of New York. In his Soho-based NYC-studio, parallel to making photographs he creates sculptures whose theme is the "terrarium": the cultivation of living plants in a contained environment.

In 1970 Mario Cravo Neto returns to Brazil and exhibits his terrarium sculptures created in New York for the first time at the 12th International Biennial of São Paulo. This is followed by more solo and group exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. After a serious car accident in 1975 he begins to concentrate on conceptual photography made in the studio. From this period emerge several short films and videos. His photography, which usually involves working with large projections, is shown worldwide in solo and group exhibitions. In 1979 he exhibits together with Pierre Verger at the Museu de Arte in São Paulo. In 1996 he curates Pierre Verger’s last photography exhibition before his death at the Witkin Gallery in New York City.

Between 1999 and 2004 he publishes different books of photography focussing on Afro-Brazilian culture and on the Candomblé *), particularly in his native city. The photo-installation shown here, Trance_Territories, gathers together work from this creative period. Numerous photographs were taken by Balbino Daniel de Paula in the Candomblé place of worship Ilê Axe Opó Aganju (see photo) regularly visited by Pierre Verger. Cravo Neto describes Trance_Territories as being the provisional result of the many years spent internalizing and poetically interpreting his religion. Among other inspirational sources, this photo-installation is dedicated to the Afro-Brazilian deity Oxossi and to the intensive encounters with Pierre Verger in Bahia.

"Oxossi is the newborn, the beginning of an African Kêtu tradition in Brazil, the so-called 'great axexé,' which can be understood as the origin and connecting link." M. Cravo Neto


Solo Exhibitions (Selection) 1990 - 2004

VI Biennale de l’Art Contemporain, Dakar (2004); Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas; Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro; Gallleri Image, Arhus; Galeria Bolsa de Arte, Rio de Janeiro; Daros Latin America, Zürich (2003); Galeria André Millan, Sao Paulo; Galeria Paulo Darzé, Salvador; IFA-Galerien Stuttgart, Berlin, Bonn (2002); Espaçio Cultural ECCO, Brasilia; Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan; Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York (2001); Nationalhistoriske Museum pá Frederiksborg; Palacio Aguirre de Cartagena; Contemporain de Lyon (2000); Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo; Espaço Neogama, Sao Paulo; Sicardi Sanders Gallery, Houston; Centro de Fotografia Universidad, Salamanca (1999); Galeria Visor, Valencia; Galeria S-292, Barcelona; Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris; Centro Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires ; Galeria Pierre Verger, Salvador, Bahia; Photo España, Madrid (1998); Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles; Oldenburger Kunstverein (1997); Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona; Bohusläns Museum, Uddevalla; Boras Kunstmuseeet; Solar do Barao, Curitiba; Museum für Fotografie Braunschweig (1996); Kunstverein Steyr, Stein; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Centro Cultural de Bélem, Lisbon; Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago (1995); The Witkin Gallery, New York; Susan Spiritus Gallery, Costa Mesa, CA; Frankfurter Kunstverein (1994); Museum of Photographic Art, San Diego; Fisher Gallery, Los Angeles; Kathleen Ewing Gallery, Washington, DC; Vision Gallery, San Francisco (1993); Fahley/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles; Galeria Módulo, Lisbon; Houston FotoFest (1992); Ada Galeria, Salvador, Bahia; Galeria del Teatro General San Martin, Buenos Aires; Canon Image Center, Amsterdam; Galerie Springer, Berlin (1990)


Monographs 2000 - 2004

Salvador, Áries Editora
Laróyè, Áries Editora
The Eternal Now, Áries Editora
Na Terra_Sob Meus Pés, Edited by Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil

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Mario Cravo Neto und Balbino Daniel de Paula

Mario Cravo Neto and
Balbino Daniel de Paula

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