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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gérard Castello-Lopes died in Paris

The photographer and film distributor, Gérard Castello-Lopes, passed away on February 12, 2011, in Paris, at the age of 85.
His family hasn't yeat decided if the funeral will be made in France.

Born on the 6th of August, 1925, in Vichy (Allier), Gérard started his path in the visual arts as self-taugh, in similarity to others of his time when photography courses weren't as common as nowadays. Inspired in the techniques of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he also read many foreign books and magazines about photograpy.

An economics graduate from the Univertisity of Lisbon, he was a photographer, film critic in the "O Tempo e o Modo" magazine from 1964 a 1966, and manager of one of the oldest film distributing companies in Europe, Filmes Castello Lopes, that he inherited from his father; the company was acquired in 1998 by the Grupo JRP.
Gérard worked as assistant director in the movie "Pássaros de Asas Cortadas" (1963) by Artur Ramos and "Nacionalidade: Português" (1972), a short-film by Fernando Lopes and Nuno Bragança.
In the late 60's he was one of the founders of the Centro Português de Cinema, supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian foundation.

He started dedicating himself to photography since 1956, a passion that influenced his documentary "Belarmino" (1964) about the portuguese boxeur Belarmino Fragoso, but is was only after 1982 that his work started gaining recognition through an individual exhibition and retrospective in the Ether gallery (Lisbon), incentivated by the investigator António Sena, entitled "Fotografias de 1956 a 1982", after which he participated in several individual and collectives exhibitions.
The last retrospective about his photography took place in 2004, in the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), with the title "Oui/Non".

Gérard Castello-Lopes was an admirer of Ansel Adams, W. Eugene Smith, Sebastião Salgado and Cartier-Bresson, and considered the photo-journalist Joshua Benoliel (1878-1932) of the O Século newspaper “o único génio da fotografia portuguesa” (the only genius of the portuguese photography).
Before Paris, Gérard lived in Lisbon, Cascais and Strasbourg.
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