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12 August, 2020       LISBON - MAX. Abundant sunshineº, MIN. 01º

 
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Folders  |  José Ribeiro, from ceramics to photography
José Ribeiro, from ceramics to photography
cédric Lecler
José Ribeiro, from ceramics to photography
I met José  by chance in the restaurant of a mutual friend. I immediately loved this extraordinary character with a mischievous look in his eyes; a lisboète, good listener, and curious about everything. I wanted to write a story about his life journey for the website.

Our meeting was arranged in an ordinary building on the Avenida Infante Santo. Behind the entrance door lies José’s universe: the walls covered with photographs of Asian landscapes, portraits of men and women with history written on their faces. These photographs, taken by José, emanate great maturity and ability to capture the essence of things. Not surprising : It took José 45 years to become a photographer.

José was born a half-century ago in Caldas da Rainha, when the town was the capital of Portuguese decorative ceramics. At the time, his father was the founder of SECLA, one of the best known ceramics factories in the country. It seemed that José’s life was inevitably bound to lie in the universe of ceramics. His first contact with photography took place at a very early age, when, 7 years old, he helped his father, an amateur photographer, develop photographs in the darkroom installed on the property.

At 16, he wanted to become a photographer, but his father discouraged him : one could not make good money on photography!
Grudgingly, José went to study and then to work in England, in the world of ceramics (in the Royal College of Art with Queensberry & Hunt). After coming back to Portugal, José spent many years in several ceramics factories in Portugal and abroad (Brazil, Canada, Portugal, SPAL, Fab de Loiça de Sacavém...), but he never made a single photograph.

In 1982, José decided to change the course of his destiny and to become an entrepreneur. He left ceramics and created an IT company, PORTUS. Success came immediately, and PORTUS became in 1987 the 5th largest IT company of the country. Now, José had the rewards and recognition of a being a successful businessman, but is this really what he was looking for?
An invitation by a friend for a sailing trip once again altered the course of his destiny : that day, according to José, changed his vision of things. It is on this boat, far from everything, that Jose realizes that one day, whatever the consequences, he will become the master of his time and destiny.

In 1995, José sells all his shares of PORTUS to his employees and sets off to spend 5 years on a 16-meter sailboat, touring the world (although he had never navigated a boat before...).

At 45, José decides, finally, to turn to his passion for photography. In the oceans he crosses and in all the countries he visits, he catches up on his lost time, by storing in his memory images, portraits, and pieces of life which will become the basis of his future inspiration.
He returns to Lisbon a different person, open, serene, and ready to approach photography with maturity, necessary to capture the essence of people and things.

In 2004 his first album of photographs is born. "The Girl Next Door", a photographic allegory of woman is launched in 2005. Several exhibitions later, José became a recognized photographer specializing in portraiture.

He is currently working on the photo album for the Museu da Agua, which will be published at the end of February and consist of superb photographs of this Lisbon Museum.

Another album, on the world of the gay, is also in the works. In it, José attempts to express, through photography and with decency and respect, all the sensibilities of the gay world in public and in private life.

At 51, serene, José  has the quality of voice of someone who found the right place for himself.



José Pinto Ribeiro : +351 91 938 90 91 jpr@josepintoribeiro.com www.josepintoribeiro.com



  
Out of the following buildings, which do you think best symbolises Lisbon?
Belém tower
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
25th April bridge
Praça do Comércio (square)
S. Jorge Castle
Rossio Station
Cathedral (Sé)
Free water aqueduct
Monument to discoveries
Santa Justa elevator
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