Júlio de Matos Photography




Several months ago, when I started to look into my previous photographic work, I found quite a few photographs, including portraits, that would refuse to blend seamless into an thematic gallery.

How could them? They reflect, in different ways, diverse conceptions wide range of reasons.

For me, doing a portrait is a unique form of dialogue. In life every human relationship is different. So if a portrait reflects life, it can express this difference in many ways, including its “style”. And if you are a good face reader, you will be to able to glimpse into the different personal relations with each person in this gallery.

Portraits are also an excellent opportunity to experiment with visual language.

Just before publishing this gallery in my site, I decided to edit out a few other “One of a Kind” portraits, and to move them into unopened galleries.


In the photography world it is universally known Parr’s passion to be photographed by anonymous or less known photographers. Most of his portraits are hand-painted in a traditional way.

For many years I admire and respect Martin Parr’s work. But he knew almost nothing about me. My Fading Hutongs book and project was not yet completed at time. I was introduced to Parr by Rui Prata, a fine art photography enthusiast that for more than 20 years curates and directs Encontros da Imagem, the major photography event held in Portugal.

We connected easily. Martin is a relaxed, creative, and with real sense of humor model. The shooting did not lasted long and took place at Serralves Modern Art Museum’s gardens, in Porto. When I felt I had my “picture”, we all went for lunch in a fish restaurant in Leça.

Those who “really” know the History of Photography, will be able to establish an intentional connection between this portrait, with another Martin: Martin Munkacsi. That, if you know well Richard Avedon’s personal recall on seeing Munkacsi at NY’s Central Park.


From 1988 to 1990 a group of 9 ecletic Porto photographers met once a month at “Labirintho”, a bar frequented by students, artists, intellectuals, and alike … In the first floor there was an art gallery open to emerging artists.

The group was composed in alphabetic order by: Angel Ordiales, Graça Sarsfield, João Paulo Sotto-Mayor, José Luis Dias, Júlio de Matos, Paula Bianchi, Paulo Alexandrino, Teresa Mergulhão, Teresa Siza. Now I know that the diversity of photographic and personal goals determined this group's premature extinction.

The first meetings were a lot of fun. The first group exhibition was “ Portraits, and Self-Portraits”. Each photographer would make his self-portrait, and photograph another from the group, in an organized way. I photographed João Paulo. My body of work “You Chicken, We Chikens” (1989) (Masks Gallery) was part of our second show. The third and last planned exhibition never took place. A portuguese traditional saying states: “There is never a second without a third”. But I guess we were not traditional…

This portrait still hangs in João Paulo's photo studio and we keep in touch regularly.

Júlio de Matos

May, 11th 2009

© 2009-2017 All Photographs and texts by Júlio de Matos | All rights reserved | © Júlio de Matos, 2009-2017