Thomaz Farkas (Brazilian, 1924-2011)

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1924, Thomaz Farkas emigrated with his parents to Brazil in 1929. After studying mechanical and electrical engineering at the Universidade de São Paulo, Farkas became a member of the Foto Club Bandeirante, São Paulo. In 1942 he participated in the first major photographic exhibition to take place in Brazil, the Sãlao Paulista de Arte Fotografica at the Galeria Prestes Maia. In 1945, Farkas, along with Gertrudes Altschul and José Yalenti, began focusing on architectural subjects. That same year, the club was renamed Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante and by then included a group of amateur filmmakers. Farkas, inspired by the work of his peers, started working on the production of documentaries. In 1949, Farkas and painter and photographer Geraldo de Barros collaborated to initiate a photographic laboratory at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand. In 1958, he began an extensive series of photographs documenting the ongoing construction of Brasília. A decade later, while Brazil was still under a military dictatorship, Farkas undertook a large-scale project to document on film the cultural and social differences within Brazil's population. From 1968 to 1972, with a production team nicknamed the "Farkas Caravan", he made thirty-three documentary films. 

Image on the left: 'Self-portrait', São Paulo, 1942. © Thomaz Farkas