Vincent
Catala

Vincent Catala

biography


French photographer, member of Agence VU’ since 2014, lives and works mainly in Sao Paulo (Brazil).

Vincent Catala graduated in 2000 with a Master’s degree in Intellectual Property (McGill University, Canada), and trained as a self-taught photographer before establishing himself as a professional photographer in 2006. Wether in his documentary series, architecture photographs or portraits, he unveils the individual’s relationships to his environment and, by contextualizing them, gives an account of their subjective representations: solitude, freedom, presence in the world…

Interested in the long-term approach to specific territories, both defined and opaque, his work gives us insight into different representations of the world and and to the idea of universality that is played out through encounters and a given geography. He is currently finishing a eight years-long personal project realized in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro where he lived between 2013 and 2018 (Rio, Invisible City), and which he continues in the Greater São Paulo region, where he settled in 2019 (São Paulo, the Stone Forest). This body of work, questioning the complexity of a country troubled for several years by doubts and a sense of disenchantment, will be completed in 2022, in the last months of the first mandate of Jair Bolsonaro

In parallel with his personal work, he responds to public and/or private commissions related to urban planning and architecture, in Brazil or Europe. He also realizes portraits (in particular figures of the Brazilian cultural and even underground life) or series about life in Brazil for the French and international press ( “Pernambuco, polygon of dryness”;  “Recife, epicenter of the Zika virus” ; the federal public housing program Minha Casa, Minha Vida …)

His work is also regularly exhibited in Paris, Amman, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Tbilisi, Braga, and has won numerous awards. In January 2015 it was added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro (MAM/RJ).

‘The Galerie VU presented a selection of photographs from his Brazilian series at the Grand Palais in the context of Paris Photo 2017.

Series


Cidade Bolsonaro, 2020

Serie | In the 2018 presidential election, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro scored his best national result here: 93% of the vote.

São Paulo, the Stone Forest (work in progress)

Series | This series started in early 2020 in São Paulo is the second main part of Vincent Catala's work in Brazil, after the completion of the project "Rio, Invisible City" (2013-2018). 

Copacabana does not answer anymore, 2020

Serie | An aging, precarious population in a densely populated urban area: all the ingredients were there to make the famous Copacabana district in Rio a breeding ground for the coronavirus pandemic.

Avenida Paulista, 2020

Serie | I spent every day in May 2020 photographing passers-by on Paulista Avenue, the city's emblematic - and longest - artery. At this date the pandemic is already raging in Brazil and São Paulo officially becomes the capital of the coronavirus in Latin America.

Casa de Vidro, 2020

Serie| Collaboration with the Lina Bo Bardi Foundation to photograph the Casa de Vidro, Morumbi, São Paulo.

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, 2020

Série| Report in a unit of the MST, Rio Grande do Sul.

My body is political (Project in progress)

Serie | Trash and radical, the LBGT community (and especially the transsexual one), in Sao Paulo is experienced as a resistance against the state violence in the Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro.

Les Collèges Militaires brésiliens (project in progress)

Serie | During the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the military colleges were accused of spreading in the minds of the new Brazilian generations an ideology in tune with the thesis defended by the candidate - and now president - of the extreme right.

Rio, Invisible City  (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This series was made between 2013 and 2018 in the western outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, a huge territory, far from the usual clichés related to Rio, and never shown.

Rio de Janeiro - The Ocean (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible City” project and was produced in the same period of time and in the same spirit.

Rio de Janeiro - The City (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible city” project and was produced in the period of time. It presents a set of urban landscapes of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Inhotim, The main Contemporary of Art foundation in Latin America, 2018

Serie | Inhotim Museum, located in the heart of the state of Minas Gerais, is the main Contemporary of art Foundation in Latin America.

Pernambuco facing the zika virus, (2016 - 2017)

Serie | In 2016 Pernambuco and its capital, Recife, suddenly became the epicenter of an epidemia linked to the zika virus, before the wave receded and mysteriously disappeared the following year.

The Artistic Rio, 2017

Serie | Lifted up for the Olympic Games, Rio is still stretching out in Guanabara Bay, with its new museums and a profusion of galleries.

The news « City of God », 2016

Serie | Immersion on the outskirts of Rio, in the Colônia Juliano Moreira, one of the many social neighborhoods built from 2009 to rehouse the inhabitants of the favelas.

NNIPAS, 2016

Serie | The NNIPAS project (acronym of “Nous N'Irions Pas Si” “We would not go if”) is written by several hands (photographer, illustrator, writer - the images presented here are all by Vincent Catala).

Balard, Future Ministry of Defense, 2013

Serie | Throughout 2013, Vincent Catala has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defense and the Bouygues Group (Project Manager) to produce a photographic work.

The island, 2012

Serie | The serie was made in Cuba between 2010 and 2012

Jane la nuit tombe, (2008 - 2010)

Serie | 2008: I meet by chance Jane in Rio. Jane is a prostitute. She accepts that I follow her on her working nights.

Cidade Bolsonaro, 2020

Serie | In the 2018 presidential election, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro scored his best national result here: 93% of the vote.

São Paulo, the Stone Forest (work in progress)

Series | This series started in early 2020 in São Paulo is the second main part of Vincent Catala's work in Brazil, after the completion of the project "Rio, Invisible City" (2013-2018). 

Copacabana does not answer anymore, 2020

Serie | An aging, precarious population in a densely populated urban area: all the ingredients were there to make the famous Copacabana district in Rio a breeding ground for the coronavirus pandemic.

Avenida Paulista, 2020

Serie | I spent every day in May 2020 photographing passers-by on Paulista Avenue, the city's emblematic - and longest - artery. At this date the pandemic is already raging in Brazil and São Paulo officially becomes the capital of the coronavirus in Latin America.

Casa de Vidro, 2020

Serie| Collaboration with the Lina Bo Bardi Foundation to photograph the Casa de Vidro, Morumbi, São Paulo.

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, 2020

Série| Report in a unit of the MST, Rio Grande do Sul.

My body is political (Project in progress)

Serie | Trash and radical, the LBGT community (and especially the transsexual one), in Sao Paulo is experienced as a resistance against the state violence in the Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro.

Les Collèges Militaires brésiliens (project in progress)

Serie | During the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the military colleges were accused of spreading in the minds of the new Brazilian generations an ideology in tune with the thesis defended by the candidate - and now president - of the extreme right.

Rio, Invisible City  (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This series was made between 2013 and 2018 in the western outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, a huge territory, far from the usual clichés related to Rio, and never shown.

Rio de Janeiro - The Ocean (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible City” project and was produced in the same period of time and in the same spirit.

Rio de Janeiro - The City (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible city” project and was produced in the period of time. It presents a set of urban landscapes of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Inhotim, The main Contemporary of Art foundation in Latin America, 2018

Serie | Inhotim Museum, located in the heart of the state of Minas Gerais, is the main Contemporary of art Foundation in Latin America.

Pernambuco facing the zika virus, (2016 - 2017)

Serie | In 2016 Pernambuco and its capital, Recife, suddenly became the epicenter of an epidemia linked to the zika virus, before the wave receded and mysteriously disappeared the following year.

The Artistic Rio, 2017

Serie | Lifted up for the Olympic Games, Rio is still stretching out in Guanabara Bay, with its new museums and a profusion of galleries.

The news « City of God », 2016

Serie | Immersion on the outskirts of Rio, in the Colônia Juliano Moreira, one of the many social neighborhoods built from 2009 to rehouse the inhabitants of the favelas.

NNIPAS, 2016

Serie | The NNIPAS project (acronym of “Nous N'Irions Pas Si” “We would not go if”) is written by several hands (photographer, illustrator, writer - the images presented here are all by Vincent Catala).

Balard, Future Ministry of Defense, 2013

Serie | Throughout 2013, Vincent Catala has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defense and the Bouygues Group (Project Manager) to produce a photographic work.

The island, 2012

Serie | The serie was made in Cuba between 2010 and 2012

Jane la nuit tombe, (2008 - 2010)

Serie | 2008: I meet by chance Jane in Rio. Jane is a prostitute. She accepts that I follow her on her working nights.

Cidade Bolsonaro, 2020

Serie | In the 2018 presidential election, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro scored his best national result here: 93% of the vote.

São Paulo, the Stone Forest (work in progress)

Series | This series started in early 2020 in São Paulo is the second main part of Vincent Catala's work in Brazil, after the completion of the project "Rio, Invisible City" (2013-2018). 

Copacabana does not answer anymore, 2020

Serie | An aging, precarious population in a densely populated urban area: all the ingredients were there to make the famous Copacabana district in Rio a breeding ground for the coronavirus pandemic.

Avenida Paulista, 2020

Serie | I spent every day in May 2020 photographing passers-by on Paulista Avenue, the city's emblematic - and longest - artery. At this date the pandemic is already raging in Brazil and São Paulo officially becomes the capital of the coronavirus in Latin America.

Casa de Vidro, 2020

Serie| Collaboration with the Lina Bo Bardi Foundation to photograph the Casa de Vidro, Morumbi, São Paulo.

Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, 2020

Série| Report in a unit of the MST, Rio Grande do Sul.

My body is political (Project in progress)

Serie | Trash and radical, the LBGT community (and especially the transsexual one), in Sao Paulo is experienced as a resistance against the state violence in the Brazil of Jair Bolsonaro.

Les Collèges Militaires brésiliens (project in progress)

Serie | During the election of Jair Bolsonaro, the military colleges were accused of spreading in the minds of the new Brazilian generations an ideology in tune with the thesis defended by the candidate - and now president - of the extreme right.

Rio, Invisible City  (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This series was made between 2013 and 2018 in the western outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, a huge territory, far from the usual clichés related to Rio, and never shown.

Rio de Janeiro - The Ocean (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible City” project and was produced in the same period of time and in the same spirit.

Rio de Janeiro - The City (2013 - 2018)

Serie | This photographic series accompanies the “Rio, Invisible city” project and was produced in the period of time. It presents a set of urban landscapes of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Inhotim, The main Contemporary of Art foundation in Latin America, 2018

Serie | Inhotim Museum, located in the heart of the state of Minas Gerais, is the main Contemporary of art Foundation in Latin America.

Pernambuco facing the zika virus, (2016 - 2017)

Serie | In 2016 Pernambuco and its capital, Recife, suddenly became the epicenter of an epidemia linked to the zika virus, before the wave receded and mysteriously disappeared the following year.

The Artistic Rio, 2017

Serie | Lifted up for the Olympic Games, Rio is still stretching out in Guanabara Bay, with its new museums and a profusion of galleries.

The news « City of God », 2016

Serie | Immersion on the outskirts of Rio, in the Colônia Juliano Moreira, one of the many social neighborhoods built from 2009 to rehouse the inhabitants of the favelas.

NNIPAS, 2016

Serie | The NNIPAS project (acronym of “Nous N'Irions Pas Si” “We would not go if”) is written by several hands (photographer, illustrator, writer - the images presented here are all by Vincent Catala).

Balard, Future Ministry of Defense, 2013

Serie | Throughout 2013, Vincent Catala has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defense and the Bouygues Group (Project Manager) to produce a photographic work.

The island, 2012

Serie | The serie was made in Cuba between 2010 and 2012

Jane la nuit tombe, (2008 - 2010)

Serie | 2008: I meet by chance Jane in Rio. Jane is a prostitute. She accepts that I follow her on her working nights.

Interviews


Vincent Catala – Rio, Invisible City
HSBC Award

2020

Vincent Catala talks about his project “Rio Invisible City”.

ZUM Festival 2019
ZUM Festival

2019

Speech by Vincent Catala (from 52′ 57″) at the Moreira Salles Institute (São Paulo) on the occasion of the launch of the magazine Zum
Vincent Catala is joined by the Brazilian artists Rosângela Reno and Aleta Valente.

exhibitions


Rio, rivage intérieur

Event : Festival de l’Œil Urbain, Corbeil-Essonnes, France
Dates : From the 1st of April to the 22nd of May 2016

Night(s)

Event : Exposition collective Nuit(s), Musée de la photographie André Villers, France
From the 15th of February to the 18th of May 2015