About Tom Boechat
My first contact with real photography was in 1987, when I was an AFS exchange student in Sister Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Until then, life had been pretty much a protestant upbringing in a lower middle class neighbourhood in Brazil and a 2 year education in a technical high school studying Mechanics. At 16, life was divided into good and evil, right and wrong.
What impressed me most in photography classes was the possibility of error. It was not only allowed, but sometimes error was what actually worked. The camera also allowed, and demanded, that shy kid to get closer to people. In 1987 I fell in love with photography, error and people.
Back to Brazil, I went to college to major in Journalism. In 1992, working 15 hour shifts in a shipping agency, and with college going from bad to worse, I decided to move to New York City to become a photographer.
During the 3 year period in NYC, I studied at ICP – International Center of Photography, did sandwiches and salads to pay rent, discovered the MoMA and jazz, and wandered around the city to learn how to photograph, how to look and see.
In 2000, after 3 years living in Rio de Janeiro as a free-lancer, I went back to my hometown, Vitoria, to join a magazine staff and a photo agency.
In 2005 I went to Tokyo for a year, working full time on personal projects.
Back to Brazil in 2006, I was invited to teach photography at a local photo school. Since then I have been teaching photography and developing a personal work towards contemporary photography, dealing with issues such as absence, solitude and urban spaces. My work has been exhibited in local museums and galleries as well as published on Brazilian magazines.