Ruy Teixeira: Green look – TLmagazine

Intending to go to Europe for a brief assignment in his early twenties, Brazilian-born photographer Ruy Teixeira ended up staying 25 years, working first in fashion and music in Milan, then almost exclusively in design and architecture. For over three decades now, Teixeira has photographed the world’s leading innovators of design and art, lavish interiors and architectural spaces, as well as the landscape and the natural world, establishing his own distinctive vision. Recently, he has worked on several books on Brazilian modernism, bringing to life the work and legacy of this rich and influential movement.

TLmag: You discovered photography at a very young age thanks to your grandfather, who was a well-known photographer in Sāo Paulo. Can you tell us a bit about this experience? What attracted you to this medium? And when did you start taking a camera yourself and capturing your own ideas and images?

Ruy Teixeira: I have childhood memories of being in the dark room, with the red light, and looking into the white bowl as the image began to develop. I believe this is my first emotional connection with photography. Since then, my experience as a photographer has been linked to these emotions and has become the guideline of my life.

The instruments of photography, the lab, the equipment and the camera, were of great curiosity during my childhood. In 1979, when I was 21, I went to London for a sabbatical year, and I [coincidentally] shared a house with two young photographers. All the feelings I had about photography since my childhood came back. I bought my first camera. At that time, I was sure that would be my job, to travel and discover new things.

TLmag: What were the subjects or objects that you liked to photograph when you were young, before you started as a professional? Did you work in black and white or always in color?

RT: At the beginning, only in black and white. My first subject was the streets of London. It was a way of finding myself and being part of the city. A feeling of having the collection of images of my life.

TLmag: What type of camera do you like to work with today? Are you completely digital or do you still love using film?

RT: I only use digital. I photograph a lot, and I couldn’t manage my projects and work any other way. I like to report ideas and projects from creative people. Digital allows me to have all my files with metadata and share them quickly around the world. Of course, I have a huge archive of analog images, which I am slowly reviewing and digitizing.

TLmag: What attracted you to the world of design and architecture?

RT: I was living in Europe, but I always went back to Brazil to see my family. During one of these trips [to Brazil], I photographed the house of singer Caetano Veloso, in Salvador de Bahia. I proposed this story for an Italian design magazine. They loved it and published it. I felt that with architecture I could make stories on my own and sell them. At the same time, these images could be less ephemeral than fashion. It was very important for me to discover a way to ensure that my photos are timeless, do not go out of style in six months. This idea made me feel that I was not fashion, even when I photograph fashion. I brainstorm and ideas never die.

TLmag: In addition to editorial projects, you have collaborated on many wonderful books, especially on Brazilian art and culture, such as Arte Popular Brasileira, Brazilian Modern Masters or Ruy Ohtake. What do you enjoy about the process of creating a book?

RT: Back in Brazil, I photographed a collection of modern Brazilian furniture. Lots of rooms I had seen before in my grandfather’s house; As a photographer, he also had a good eye for design. I had the idea to make the book “Design da Utopia”, where I revisited many Brazilian collections combining art and modern design. This has become the key to my work as an author. After that, I made about 15 books in 10 years, and I’m currently working on four more. I like books because it’s like writing with pictures. All the photos I build myself with what I find in the place. I say that I build altars, mixing art design, history and soul. I love it.

TLmag: You have worked in fashion, music, design, portraits and profiles… what are you interested in photographing these days?

RT: I’m interested in photographing everything around me (I’m always with my camera), my family, my friends, my ideas, art, architecture, design. I try to be as simple as possible, to find myself in each photo I take.

TLmag: What are the upcoming projects for you?

TT: I’m working on a second edition of “Design of Utopia” (the first is out of print), as well as a book on “Casa Zalszupin”, Jorge Zalszupin’s home and museum, which hosts incredible art exhibitions and design. , a book for the Rosewood Hotel Brazil (a project by Philippe Starck and Jean Novel), and I will be working on the next book by Li Edelkoort.


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