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Latin American Fotografia: Paulo Mittelman

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 24, 2016


Paulo Mittelman is a clinical psychologist.

But he is also a Rio de Janeiro-based photographer. “I started taking pictures when I was 16, and I am now 63,” he says. For Mittelman, the activities are “inextricably linked.”

“The human being in all its diversities and internal dialogues, beyond the projections of unconscious elements in the perception of the world around us, is what I try to express in my photographic work,” he says.

In his search for different kinds of people from different backgrounds, Mittelman needs to look no further than the city around him. “Brazil is a huge country with a huge diversity of ethnic and cultural influences,” he says. “Being a lover of photography, I have, in recent years, tried to capture in images the diversity and cultural and ethnic pluralism that composes the Brazilian people.”

A few years ago, Mittelman was walking through the central district of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, a promising time for photography. There, he spotted a young girl with her family. He was immediately intrigued. “She was dressed as a warrior — this fantasy was composed of small pieces of soft drink cans,” he says. “The creativity of this fantasy and the girl’s defiant gaze seem to condense into one moment the feeling of the free child in all of us.”

The photo was named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia  4 competition.

“I keep photographing people I meet along the paths where I walk, and I would love to be able to help so that people realize that fine-art photography can be a healthy way of elaboration of our more complex emotions,” Mittelman says. Below is a selection of his photographic work.


Mittelman joined the Brazilian Association of Photographic Art in 2007 and won the Photo of the Year Color in 2008 and 2013 and 2015. He participated in the Photo River (International Meeting of Photography in Rio de Janeiro) in 2009, 2011 and 2013. His photos were accepted in the XV, XVII and XVIII Biennial of Photographic Art in Brazil and have been featured in a number of exhibitions.

See more of his work at his website  and at Flickr. Find him also at Facebook.

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Dispatches from Latin America