Soak up the country.
“On Ipanema Beach, all you see is beautiful bodies, the dazzling sea and impressive buildings. But do a 180 and you’re facing one of the country’s largest favelas,” Berlin-based photographer Olaf Heine sums up his impressions of Brazil, compiled in the eponymous coffee-table book that has just been published.
Up until now, Heine has been best known for images of musicians, actors, and athletes – images that tell stories rather than for documentary-like photography. Heine has staged rapper Snoop Dogg as a shaolin monk and Iggy Pop as a sinuous boxer. In contrast, painting the portrait of an entire country turned out to be more of a process. Altogether, and over the course of three-and-a-half years, Olaf Heine travelled to Brazil eight times, each visit lasting several weeks.
He initially sought to soak up impressions by retracing the steps and lines of modern architectural maestro Oscar Niemeyer. Only after months of producing photographic material did he realize that this might evolve into a larger project.