More than just showing, the aim is to make it visible.
Over the past fifteen years, this body of work has always oscillated between two distinct scales: that of the urban landscape which is often the condensed history of the man-altered landscape, and that of detail which, decontextualized, invites to an expanded gaze. This work, organized in series, is informed by my studies and background in architecture and is closer to the organized and formal rigor of a surveyor than to someone who portrays the city from afar and with broad strokes.
The city has always been my territory, from the historic centers of Southern Europe to the industrial parks of the North American peripheries, and by recording different ways of thinking and making the city, the challenge always lies in looking beyond our daily distractions and to invite for a closer look at the world around us, to discover the beauty in unusual places.
I think of this work as a forever unfinished inventory of city fragments that, sometimes in these series, are combined and juxtaposed into impossible landscapes. More than photographs of the territory, these images are the territory of photography and invite the viewer, while witness and co-author of these landscapes, to move into spaces of speculation and reflect on the city.
Graduated in architecture at FA-UP (Oporto, 2001) and Master of Fine Arts at FBA-UB (Barcelona, 2006), Miguel Coelho grabbed a camera for the first time at 11 years old and since that moment he has been fortunate enough to photograph almost every day.
Professional since 2004, he works essentially with urban landscape and architectural photography. Works on several research projects and visual essays on urban landscape photography. His work was featured at the Venice Biennale in 2008 by invitation from the CoAC – Col·legid’Arquitectes de Catalunya.
Miguel Coelho was artistic director of Galeria Ars Lucida (Guimarães, 2011-2012), national coordinator of Nikon School Portugal (‘Best Nikon School Europe’ award in 2012 and 2013) between 2010 and 2016, chief curator of Leica Gallery Porto and a member of the scientific committee of the post-graduate course of Photography, Alquimia da Cor (Porto). Co-founder of Observatório, was appointed as its director in January 2016 and was Leica Akademie Director between 2016 and 2018.
With an intense passion for teaching and tutoring and besides portfolio reviews and speaker at photography events, Miguel has over 12 years of international teaching experience (Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia and USA) at all levels mainly focused on urban landscape and creative processes applied to photography.
Currently lives in Tucson (USA) where he is a PhD student at the School of Art – University of Arizona.