The photographs of Sebastião Salgado, are some of the rawest accounts of the disparity of human civilization. Compositionally and graphically, Salgado’s photographs are both stunning and beautiful. His use of strong contrast delivers such a raw punch of power to his images. It is impossible for the viewer not to be taken aback by the sheer force of his deep blacks, and pure whites. He is also a master of composing his shots in order to draw the viewer into the heart of the image; there is always something to lead the viewer’s eye.
School in refugee camp. Afghanistan, 1996 Photo by Sebastião Salgado
I find it difficult to think that some critics of Salgado find his work too beautiful to successfully provoke society into clearly seeing the message behind his work. Yes, Salgado’s photographs are beautiful. But it is this initial realization or intrigue which first gets the viewer to look at his pictures. Without the captivity that these photographs exude on the viewer, it is impossible for them to truly reflect on the state of the individual in our massively capitalistic society. I find Salgado’s photography to be both visually and socially captivating. He is a master photographer and humanitarian. It is his accounts of the workingman in our world, which truly bring to light the social situations we are living in today.
Check here Salgado’s lectures at UC Berkeley