Sebastiao Salgado. GENESIS
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Sebastiao Salgado. GENESIS

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"In GENESIS, my camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen." -Sebastiao Salgado

On a very fortuitous day in 1970, 26-year-old Sebastiao Salgado held a camera for the first time. When he looked through the viewfinder, he experienced a revelation: suddenly life made sense. From that day onward-though it took years of hard work before he had the experience to earn his living as a photographer-the camera became his tool for interacting with the world. Salgado, who "always preferred the chiaroscuro palette of black-and-white images," shot very little color in his early career before giving it up completely.

Raised on a farm in Brazil, Salgado possessed a deep love and respect for nature; he was also particularly sensitive to the ways in which human beings are affected by their often devastating socio-economic conditions. Of the myriad works Salgado has produced in his acclaimed career, three long-term projects stand out: Workers (1993), documenting the vanishing way of life of manual laborers across the world; Migrations (2000), a tribute to mass migration driven by hunger, natural disasters, environmental degradation and demographic pressure; and this new opus, GENESIS, the result of an epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society-the land and life of a still-pristine planet. "Some 46% of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis," Salgado reminds us. "We must preserve what exists." The GENESIS project, along with the Salgados' Instituto Terra, are dedicated to showing the beauty of our planet, reversing the damage done to it, and preserving it for the future.

Over 30 trips-traveled by foot, light aircraft, seagoing vessels, canoes, and even balloons, through extreme heat and cold and in sometimes dangerous conditions-Salgado created a collection of images showing us nature, animals, and indigenous peoples in breathtaking beauty. Mastering the monochrome with an extreme deftness to rival the virtuoso Ansel Adams, Salgado brings black-and-white photography to a new dimension; the tonal variations in his works, the contrasts of light and dark, recall the works of Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Georges de La Tour.

What does one discover in GENESIS? The animal species and volcanoes of the Galapagos; penguins, sea lions, cormorants, and whales of the Antarctic and South Atlantic; Brazilian alligators and jaguars; African lions, leopards, and elephants; the isolated Zo'e tribe deep in the Amazon jungle; the Stone Age Korowai people of West Papua; nomadic Dinka cattle farmers in Sudan; Nenet nomads and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle; Mentawai jungle communities on islands west of Sumatra; the icebergs of the Antarctic; the volcanoes of Central Africa and the Kamchatka Peninsula; Saharan deserts; the Negro and Jurua rivers in the Amazon; the ravines of the Grand Canyon; the glaciers of Alaska... and beyond. Having dedicated so much time, energy, and passion to the making of this work, Salgado calls GENESIS "my love letter to the planet."

Whereas the limited Collector's Edition is conceived like a large-format portfolio that meanders across the planet, this unlimited book presents a selection of photographs arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia, and Pantanal. Each in its own way, this book and the Collector's Edition-both edited and designed by Lelia Wanick Salgado-pay homage to Salgado's triumphant and unparalleled GENESIS project.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 520 pages
  • 243 x 355 x 45.72mm | 3,931g
  • Cologne, Germany
  • English
  • 3836538725
  • 9783836538725
  • 21,804

Review quote

"...What we have here are images that are seen as big as the life they depict, where the viewer becomes an integral part of the panorama, spread out in humongous majesty! What is shown in the book is what must be preserved and you understand that Salgado and TASCHEN are contributing to the awareness about the world we live in, and questioning how we live in it without giving something back...GENESIS is a photographic concerto from two men who took the risk of brining immortality to a morally wounded planet..." "Educational institutions must buy this book for their libraries...The reader will be held by the sheer engagement of the contents of the book. And what a book! Salgado's magnum opus is breath-taking in its scope. It's a book to be read slowly and thoughtfully, holding the reader spellbound, with all images and no copy. A strange combination of beautiful vision and inspiration leads one to turn the pages. If you are passionate about photography you must buy this book." "These pictures are a religious experience. They celebrate the preciousness of life." "A genuine masterpiece from one of the greatest names in contemporary photography... For me it's almost a biblical work-at once epic and fundamental-that attains the pinnacle of the art. His contribution to photography is what Beethoven's Ninth is to music. It is a gift to humanity from a genius of image creation. It is perhaps the most amazing photography I have ever seen. A book for always." "It's a stunning masterpiece - a true book for the ages." "Mr. Salgado's images have enormous gravity and sweep, an almost godlike omniscience. His black, white, and silver hues are so rich that his images seem to have been marinated in crude oil."
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About Sebastiao Salgado

The photographers:
Sebastiao Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in Paris in 1973 and subsequently worked with the photo agencies Sygma, Gamma, and Magnum Photos. In 1994 he and his wife Lelia created "Amazonas Images," an agency that handles exclusively his work. Salgado's photographic projects have been featured in many exhibitions as well as books, including "Other Americas (1986), Sahel: l'homme en detresse (1986), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations (2000), "and "The Children (2000)."
The editor and author:
Lelia Wanick Salgado studied Architecture and Urban Planning in Paris. Her interest in photography started in the early 1970s and she moved on to conceiving and designing photography books and organizing exhibitions, numerous of them on Sebastiao Salgado. Since 1994 Lelia Wanick Salgado is director of the press agency "Amazonas Images."
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Rating details

526 ratings
4.73 out of 5 stars
5 79% (418)
4 15% (81)
3 4% (22)
2 1% (3)
1 0% (2)
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