This series relate to my experience working in Minas Gerais, Brazil for four months in 2010 and again in October 2012. Though Brazil was experiencing unprecedented economic growth and wealth, there is still a large discrepancy between the rich, the growing middle class, and the poor. In most large cities, the poorest and even some working class people live in these large often hilly, densely packed urban favelas dangerously prone to mudslides in the rainy season.
Unlike most North Americans, many people here live behind large walls, imposing gates or somewhat closed off entrances, which create a mystery for us about what may lie behind them. They range from simple, to menacing, to fanciful, and humorous. Walls with barbed and electrified wire or glass shards sharply contrast the warm, wonderfully welcoming people in beautiful hilly Minas.
Tapaçaria weaves images from three Belo Horizonte favelas with images from “Inhotim” an art park, nature preserve, and spectacular botanical gardens located outside the city. I am contrasting “Inhotim,” visited primarily by middle class, wealthy Brazilians, and international tourists interested in world-class contemporary art and exotic nature, with the favelas, which have their own unique urban “beauty” to highlight these important social issues in Brazil, exacerbated by the World Cup and upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. Witness their current political crisis.