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Biography

Sebastião Salgado was born in 1944 in Brazil. He lives in Paris. Having studied economics, Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris. He worked with various agencies including Magnum Photos until 1994, when he and Lélia Wanick Salgado formed Amazonas Images, created exclusively for his work. Today this structure is their studio.

 

Salgado has made it his life’s work to document the impact of globalization on humankind. His hauntingly beautiful black-and-white prints lay bare some of the bleakest moments of modern history. His images tell the story of Vietnamese boat people, Rwandan refugees, Indian coffee growers, and countless other impoverished individuals. This unprecedented exhibition unveils new work from his Genesis series, featuring images of majestic landscapes and ancient civilizations. A selection of iconic works from earlier in his career will also be on view.

In the past three decades, Salgado has travelled to more than 100 countries for his photographic projects. Breaking down barriers, he lives with his subjects for weeks, immersing himself in their environments. He sees himself as a participant entering their story. Salgado describes this approach as photographing from inside the circle. Each of his images is infused with empathy and respect for his subjects. Within a single frame, he captures the fragility and the fortitude of the human spirit.
 
Salgado’s work has been the subject of numerous books including Other Americas (1986), Sahel: l’homme en détresse (1986), Sahel: el fin del camino (1988), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations and Portraits (2000), Africa (2007), Genesis (2013), The Scent of a Dream (2015), Kuwait, A Desert on Fire (2016), and GOLD, Serra Pelada Gold Mine (2019). Touring exhibitions of this work have been and continue to be presented throughout the world. In 2013, the book De ma terre à la Terre (From my land to the planet), a narrative account of his life and career was published, and in 2014, the documentary film The Salt of the Earth, directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, was released. 
 
Sebastião Salgado has been honored with numerous distinctions and photographic prizes. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In April 2016 Salgado was elected member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France, for the seat previously occupied by Lucien Clergue. In July 2016, he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, France. Lélia Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado have worked since the 1990s on the restoration of a portion of the Atlantic Forest in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. In 1998 they succeeded in turning this land into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra, dedicated to reforestation, conservation and environmental education.

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