Fine Art

Blueprint for Happiness: The Photography of Joana Cardozo

Joana developed the idea of making portraits of other people by photographing the shadows of objects found in their domestic spaces in the same way. She uses a projector to shine light on the chosen objects and create a strong shadow. She takes great care in choosing the color of the backgrounds, often augmenting the color of a preexisting wall by shooting through colored filters. After the individual objects are carefully chosen and photographed, they are presented in the shape of the floor plan. Through these carefully arranged and sometimes repeated silhouettes, the viewer can piece together an idea of what kind of person the subject is.

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So far, the process for choosing the objects to use in each Blueprint has varied from project to project. Sometimes Joana is alone in the subject’s apartment or house and picks objects that she feels describe what is unique about the person being portrayed. Other times, the process has been a collaboration between Joana and her subject. The result is always a clever collage of intriguing images that are upbeat and personal.

Joana concedes that gingado, a word that reflects the Brazilian philosophy of life, is subconsciously a part of her work. Gingado “is a specific way of navigating or fixing tricky situations” by a metaphorical “swinging” or “juggling.” Her photographs are filled with warmth, humor, human intimacy and the conviction that, in the end, everything will work out for the best. These days, Joana spends all of her time making photographs and has no intention of returning to her law practice.

fd222e_77b33dd69651423fbd5b95025e63ad58Blueprint Three – Amy, 2015, archival pigment print, 23 x 40 in.

Joana Cardozo is co-curating The Future Perfect, a photography exhibition that will be shown at ICP School from September 6 to November 20. The same exhibition will also be shown at the Photoville Festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park from September 21 to 25. The Future Perfect will showcase the work of twenty-six recent ICP alumni, and includes Joana’s work. Both exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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