The famous ocean sides neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone are known the world over and are the picture postcards of the city if not the country as a whole.
About 35 kilometers inland, in the North Zone of the city, far from the famous beaches these are the suburbs and the hottest neighborhoods of the city. Decidedly working class there is no tourism to be found here but there is a vibrant scene of youth culture and underlying creativity.
Despite the tiny bikinis seen on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro the culture of the rich, “white” South Zone is inherently conservative and conformist with a eurocentric view of representation. In the suburbs of the North Zone the picture is another, here the countries african heritage has historically been part of everyday life and individuality is celebrated.
The mainstream representation of the poorer parts of society in Rio focus on the favelas and violence, this installation of 110 quase formal portraits focuses on the joy, energy and pride of residents of those suburbs who are usually left out of the local canon of visual representation on TV, the visual arts and the news media.
Martin Ogolter was born in Austria, after graduating from high school he moved to New York City, where he graduated with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. In New York he worked as an art director in publishing and music for companies such as Penguin Books and Atlantic Records. He had his first photograph published in 1994 and his work has been seen ever since in art galleries, on album covers, books and in magazines. Since 2003 Ogolter has been based in Rio de Janeiro where he held his first solo exhibition in 2011, his work has been shown in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, Berlin, Hamburg and his native Austria. He has also participates in art fairs, such as SP-ARTE, ART RIO. He is a professor of photography at the Escola de Artes Visuais (EAV) do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro.