Isa Brito's Beginning

Isa Brito photography captures New York at its best in the 1980s and 90s. For her upcoming solo exhibition titled PASSENGERS at Milk Gallery June 22 to July 1st, Brito has given us a personal glimpse that encompasses the passion behind her photography.

"I came to New York City in 1984 from Brazil where I was born and raised, with only a Kodak Instamatic and 200 dollars. After landing a job loading boxes at the back of Tavern on The Green, I bought a canon SLR and started taking pictures.
Encouraged by an older gentleman photographer, I quickly switched to black and white 35mm to save money. I then taught myself how to develop film and print in my bathroom. I took a photo 1 class at ICP so I could get my foot in and begin assisting teachers. This was a way to be present in classes with out having to pay, while at the same time being exposed. In the late 80s I free-lanced for a major Brazilian newspaper and covered events in New York and Eastern Europe.

The melting pot that is NYC proved to be the eye candy I was looking for and didn’t even know. I couldn’t get enough. Going out everyday, photographing everything, every encounter, and every love affair. I feel very connected to the hustlers, the children and the old people. I feel that I am them. Sometimes I would run out of film and still shoot with an empty camera. I remember precise moments from over 30 years ago, the light, the stance and the poetry. Anyone can be whatever they want. New York is famous for being a blank slate for people. People come and stay, people lose and find themselves, people get old here. Life passes.

Taking pictures was never a means to an end and recognition was never a goal to achieve. I never thought about it, I only felt the urge and the delight to photograph. I treated every moment with care and collected them on my film and memory." -Isa Brito

Opening reception at Milk Gallery New York on June 26, RSVP here.

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