Oct 12, 2017
João is a Portuguese photographer who finds inspiration in the interaction between humans and nature, and how from this interaction the landscapes evolve. Walking around his native Lisbon and using a direct and uncomplicated approach, João cleverly records the uncontrolled growth that affects the city. In spite of being his home city, we can find a pleasing objectivism and detachment in João’s images, which make them universal and help us relating them to similar problems that occur around the World.
Following we present an interview that we had with the artist:
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
JPM - Hello! My name is João Pedro Machado and I’m from Lisbon but now I have been living for nearly two years in the North of Portugal in a town called Ponte da Barca. I’m still getting used to the differences between the city and the country life however now I’m close to the mountains and nature and that is something that I enjoy and where I can often be found.
am - How did you start in photography?
JPM - Well, back in 2010 I was studying for my Degree in Management in the Superior Institute of Economics and Management in Lisbon. During that period I found myself doing something that I had little passion for and started to feel somehow lost… at the same time I developed a huge desire to do something more artistic where I could express myself. It was then when I grabbed an old analogue camera and went on a two-week road trip to Morocco. Since then, my life took a completely different direction; I finished my degree and then went to Ar.Co a school of Arts also in Lisbon to study photography. I know I have this romantic vision about photography but I feel very lucky to come across with it.
am - What inspires your work?
JPM - I try to keep an eye on other photographers I like, on their new work, and I think it is important to be informed about what’s up in contemporary photography but nowadays with all the available information and access to images, I prefer not to absorb too much. But what really inspires me, and I know it is a bit of a cliché, is nature itself and all the interactions that humans have with it in their everyday life.
am - What is “Lisboa, from the river to its boundaries” about?
JPM - First of all, Lisbon is my hometown and that is one of the main reasons why I created this series. My intention is to show the result of the last couple of decades of uncontrolled growth that has taken place in the Lisbon territory; how the city itself has adapted to this strange relationship between nature and people. I chose to walk from the city center to the limits of the city, which is the way the urban territory has grown. I aim to show fragments of landscapes that are characterized by a certain lack of humanisation, but where people will always be because of their reckless action. In a near future, I would like to make a few more images and continue with this project due to the fact that the city itself is always changing and the people that live in it are always adapting to its growth, due to this I feel that this project is always in progress.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
JPM - I have a few but if you don’t mind I’m going to take this opportunity to mention some Portuguese artists that everyone should know about: José Pedro Cortes, Carla Cabanas, Carlos Lobo e João Grama.
am - If you could travel and stay in a place for one year, where would you choose to go?
JPM - Canada.
am - What’s your favourite movie?
JPM - I will say “Interstellar” I have a huge curiosity for the unknown galaxies and planets so space exploration is my thing. I could have been an astronaut.
am - What is your favourite photo book?
JPM - I must say “Costa” by José Pedro Cortes.
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
JPM - Thank you for your interest on my work.