Gerchman studied at the Rio de Janeiro School of Fine Arts. In the 1960s, his work focused on mass culture. He used faces clipped from news photos, but unlike Andy Warhol, who used infamous celebrity, he used images of anonymous individuals. These faces would be reproduced as multiple painted images in a comic-strip style.
From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Gerchman incorporated letters and words in his paintings, photographs, and sculptures. In 1967, he completed sculptural works which included Terra (Earth), Lute ("Struggle") and Sós ("Alone"). Terra integrated Gerchman’s box with hollowed out letters, while Sós played on his Boxes to Live In series with its reference to isolation and alienation. Lastly, Lute expresses political importance.