top of page


What makes an image appealing? Not all of them are,
of course, and only the truly appealing ones result from a

particular sort of know-how: the ability to identify in the

surrounding space the precise framing, the reduction of the real

to its most essential, thereby teaching us to see what we do not

see. In light of the created image, we are then awestruck by the

pleasure of a revelation.This is precisely what takes place when

we page through this book, Meanwhile, with photographs
by Clovis Ferreira França.

The first image, a stick planted in the sand of the Lençóis

Maranhenses, for lack of spatial references, recalls a giant totem

standing in the desert – whoever has seen the sculpture by

Richard Serra in the Qatar desert will understand the comparison.

Here we are already surrounded by a melody, something like a

sea siren’s song, that leads us hypnotized, page by page, crossing

an immense universe that our eyes, distracted by the opacity of

everyday life, had never before seen.

What we have here, in fact, are the appealing images. Common

scenes – like walking through a room, going down stairs,

opening a door and going out into the backyard, in short,

movements that are repeated in our day-to-day life without

stirring great emotions – are reinvented and become luminous

by the power of the artist’s transfiguring gaze.

There is a wide range of scenes. Sophisticated, like the room of
a petit château with refined furniture, or simple, like clothes hung

out to dry in a backyard. Or even both at the same time, that is,

images that are sophisticated in their simplicity. In the continuous

path of the photographer’s attentive eye, nothing goes unnoticed.

Moving through interior spaces, the magic of the photographer’s

alchemy makes the most diverse situations precious: an angular

railing topped by two finely turned pawns; a sideways glance

into a library infused by sunlight streaming in past a window

shutter; the stairway with worn steps leading to the door of

a century-old house; the chairs, the painting on the wall, the

amber glass vase resting on a tablecloth with its folds at
the corner of an art deco table.

There are also elements that could be simple details, but which

are really focal points that reverberate in space and attract our

gaze: the key in the lock attached to a thick string; the piece of

iron railing that suggests a question mark; the Band-Aid covering

a hole in the fine fabric of a Louis XVI armchair; the stylized

drawing of a lily on the checkered floor of a house; the reflections

in the mirror and in the glass of a bedroom prayer niche.

Leaving the interior spaces, going out into the light of day and

revealing his training as an architect, the author surprises us with

a series of small stairways leading up to the doors of houses at

the edge of the road, all the same in their utility, but different in

their solutions for creating steps. And, then, in due course, it is

time to reveal the visual artist who lives in the author.They are

images that show us the geometry of the most diverse scenarios

and situations: bands painted on the asphalt; colored profiles of

stacked boards; the rustic counter of a beach vendor’s stand; the

worn compass rose that decorates the metallic sign of a fun
park; the surprising appearance of a Volpi painted on the side
of a modest house in a small city in the Northeast.

Besides the reading of each photograph individually, pairs of

images arranged side-by-side lead us to new reflections, due to

the harmony or clashing created. Still others, on double pages,

punctuate and strengthen the narrative – as when we come

upon a gray maritime scene or the nearly perfect symmetry of

an elegant living room illuminated by the outside light filtering

through the half-open doors.

Without any technological support able to give supposedly

contemporary airs to his work, accompanied only by a solitary

camera or cell phone turned into a block of notes, Clovis

teaches us that the appealing images, those that reinvent “life
as it is,” which “put something that is not there, into what is

there,” depend on the essential qualities: the passion of the gaze

combined with a matchless ability for knowing how to see.




IMG_2104 copy.jpg


Lençois Maranhenses,

Maranhão, Brasil


bottom of page