Fernando Villela is a photographer from São Paulo (b.93), currently in New York. A diligent observer, Fernando focuses on the street. By examining the public space (without intervention) he attempts to gain a deeper understanding of the collective experience. Fascinated by existentialism, urban life, and the systems that operate (the invisible hands that orchestrate), Fernando aims his camera to the action unfolding around him. He surveys the sidewalks, the buildings, the day and its inhabitants. The images range from straight-forward pictures of security cameras to documentary images of a train journey across the American continent to theoretical images on the obscured effects of late capitalism. He also explores and photographs on virtual streets in video games, to better comprehend the line between the real and the simulacrum.
At the age of eleven, Fernando and his family left Brazil, leading him to share his youth and adolescence between his home country, Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria. In 2011, Fernando began his studies at the School of Visual Arts (BFA Photography, 2015) in New York, where he currently lives and works.
(METROPOLIS) It’s hard to tell the hammer from its echo
Welcome to the capital of the world.
It is here where the theater is most enthralling, where the mirrors are so shining, where smoke rises perpetually from the depths. It is here that the millions of you and me fight to survive, to battle in the streets for scraps.
We build and occupy this place, working obsessively to attain great heights and devour the material bounty it offers us. For what? To forever sweat through an existence determined by unseen hands? All the while pretending not to hear the screams of unforgivable injustice and suffering for they are mere unintended consequences of this all-important race to the top? Never mind that everything we do or consume is a direct product of abuse and the sweat off someone less fortunate’s back.
Cloaked in darkness, the capital coaxes you in. It is a shapeshifting beast of pure smoke masquerading as flesh and bone, as brick and stone.
Awaken, my loves.
Today, we stand at the precipice of revolution – the eroding of towering forces of control that have withheld from the many for the luxurious perversions of the few. The unknown is stepping out of the shadows, exposing what lies past the deceptive façade that has veiled us for so long. What we see is promising, energizing. The balance is a- shifting and the times they are a-changing. Take my hand and look me in the eye. Face the real while feeling the tremors of the crumbling artifice.
It’s hard to tell the hammer from its echo.
Don’t you also work to live?
THE MODEL WORKS
To view more of Fernando Villela’s work please visit his website.