Exposition Art Blog: Black and white photography Pedro Luis Raota

Black and white photography Pedro Luis Raota

"Pedro Luis Raota was one of the 20th century's most important photographers. Since his first recognition in 1958, he garnered over 150 international awards and honors for his exceptional work in the humanitarian genre. His photographs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and are included in public and private collections around the world.
Raota's unique and memorable talent for capturing the depth of human spirit in his photographs has brought him comparisons to other legendary photographers. Like Dorothea Lange or W. Eugene Smith, this Argentinian master presents haunting portraits of a stricken humanity. Other photographs are filled with joy or comical confrontations, spontaneous "decisive moments" akin to Cartier-Bresson or Robert Doisneau. There is a rare focused intensity of spirit in nearly all Raota's portraits, which has been compared to the work of Paul Strand. In the final analysis however, these extraordinary images step beyond comparisons to other photographers and stand apart as powerful masterpieces, unique and singularly moving.

 This is a personal collection of work that comes from the heart of a Latin tradition stretching back through Goya to Ribera, and forward to contemporary Spainish cinema. Emotion is conveyed through an isolated face; gestures of people pictured together bind them into interdependent relationships; suffering is contained in dignity. Raota's artistry ranges from the sweetness of young innocence to raw realism. His compositions are as classical as the lighting is dramatic, yet without artifice. Each photograph becomes a direct, spontaneous glimpse into the life of his subject. The image lingers in our memory long after viewing. This unusal body of work adds a quality of personal feeling to the contemporary world of photography.
Raota has been called "one of the ten best photographers in the world" for the significant number of distinguished honors and awards he received from juries on five continents. Raota's images possess an unmistakable and distinctive style forged from a spirit of infinite tenderness, raw realism and deep humanity. His visual trademark - light highlights against a dark background - are recognizable at first glance and leave a powerful signature across virtually all his work. Today he stands apart from the rest of the world's renowned documentary photographers for the brilliant clarity of his darkroom craft as well as the engaging humanity and sophistication of his compositions. To the end of his life, Raota painstakingly made each print individually by his own hand.
Pedro Raota was born in Argentina on April 26, 1934 in a modest country home in the Province of El Chaco. At a young age he sold his bicycle to buy a camera, determined to learn the art of photography. He quickly took up portrait photography in Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz and later moved to Villaguary where he enthusiastically set up his own studio...."(photographywest.com)

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