Talkings Images by Paulo Fridman

Ministério da Cultura presents:


In 1999, Paulo Fridman walked around the district of Vila Madalena, as well as on Paulista Avenue, Praça da República, Galeria do Rock, Largo da Batata and several other places and landmarks in the city of São Paulo with a camera, a portable studio, some paper, a pen and a few questions in hand:

Who are you?
What is your dream?
How do you see Brazil’s future?

His target: ordinary people on the streets of Brazil’s largest city and also home of Latin America’s greatest sociocultural diversity. Each person was asked to write down or draw the answer to one of the three questions, to then be photographed.

Back at his studio, Paulo Fridman submitted both the pictures and texts – or drawings – to a digital fusion process, far more complicated at the time then it is today. This is how the Brazilian Portraits were born, available on the site under the same name, whose purpose was to provide an opportunity for people to be photographed and take pictures of themselves.

Time has passed and the project has increased both in size and in meaning. One day, Paulo realized that by bringing into light the thoughts, conflicts, ideas and dreams of those who were anonymous up to that given moment, people were practically speaking in their portraits – their portraits became talking portraits. Thus the name Talking Images was born.

Since then, the Talking Images experiment has obtained several achievements. The project was such a huge hit that during his trips abroad, Paulo took the Talking Images proposal to London, New York, Mumbai and Paris. These portraits have never been shown before and are part of the exhibit you are about to see.

Fourteen years later, with cutting edge technology and a new perspective on both Brazil and the world as a whole, Talking Images closes a cycle and travels back to its origin: the streets of São Paulo.

In this new format, you are invited to take pictures and be photographed. There will be a mobile photography studio next to the panels of each exhibit, where you may be photographed, write down or draw you answer to one of the 3 original questions. We will proceed to the photographic fusion on the spot.

Your portrait will be projected on monitors integrated to the photography studio, as well as on the site, and you will also receive a link by e-mail to download it. Join us!

Awards and Mentions

  • winner of award “Brasil da Virada do Século” in 2000;
  • Adobe Digital Contest finalist;
  • exhibited during RG 3.558.114 – Retratos 2003 at the Photography Museum of Curitiba, Paraná;
  • exhibited at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, in 2004: “Retratos Falantes de um outro mesmo eu” (Talking Images of Yet Another Me);
  • part of Café Aprendiz – Projeto Aprendiz in 2006, São Paulo;
  • installation at the Vila Madalena subway station in São Paulo – 12x5m panel comprised of 80 pictures, in 2006;
  • individual exhibit during FLIP and Paraty em Foco, organized by Galeria Zoom de Fotografia, from July 1 to September 8, 2009, in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro;
  • part of the collection of the São Paulo Museum of Mordern Art and;
  • of the Library of Congress, in Washington;
  • in 2008, a book with 70 of the 300 pictures was published under the same title.

Dates and time

  • Praça da Sé – from June 4th to June 9th – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Av. Paulista / Parque Trianon – from June 10th to June 15th – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Praça da República – from June 17th to June 22nd – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Development Structure

This exhibition was held by “Lei Federal de Incentivo à Cultura”

Conception and Photography: Paulo Fridman
Curator: Julio Abe Wakahara
Executive Producer: Paulo Levy
Art Direction: Dora Levy
Expographic Project: Escritório Julio Abe Wakahara Ltda.
Museologist: Julio Abe Wakahara
Website – Design and Conception: RRRock / Development: CodeKings
Technical Staff

Production: Haroldo Kinder

Assistant Production: Vera Barbosa and Oggenia Antunes

General Coordination: Ateilton Silva

Photogrpher on site: Caio Cestari

Image Treatment: Juliana Vizzacaro and Egberto Alves Filho

Registration: Giancarlo Pelone and Felipe Fagundes

Receptionist: Priscila dos Santos

About Paulo Fridman

Paulo Fridman is one of Brazil’s most published and requested photographers. He lived in New York for 6 years, studying at the International Center of Photography, Rochester Institute of Technology and School of the Visual Arts . Since then, he has shot more than 350 magazine covers for the likes of Time, Newsweek, New York Times magazine and Forbes; his work also appears in The New York Times, Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, Vogue, Marie Claire, W, Stern, and hundreds more.

Paulo also produces advertising and corporate photography for Brazilian and multinational corporations all over the world.

His photographs are held by several important collections, such as the Library of Congress USA, Museu de Arte Moderna MAM , International Center of Photography USA, MASP (São Paulo Museum of Art), and the Pirelli Collection. His many awards include the 1999 JP Morgan Photo Essay Award, and first prize in the 2001 Adobe Digital Image Contest, Lion in Cannes. His work has appeared in dozens of exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, at venues including MASP, Pinacoteca in Sao Paulo, Exit Art in SOHO, New York, and The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

He has published three books, including – Retratos Falantes / “Talking Images “.