When we look at Gaspar Gasparian's images, what surprises us most is how comfortable he feels with the most varied languages and ideas. Free of ties or preconceptions as to the way of photographing he lets himself explore, search and bring to his photos a blow of newness, of surprise.
When he was born in 1899 the photography already discussed its statute of independent art in the history. The photo clubs already existed in Europe.
When he initiated in the photography around 1940, this situation was already well defined in Brazil. By the way, he himself entered a photo cine club, the Bandeirante, here in São Paulo.
At the beginning his work was determined by the Pictorialist aesthetic, the still life, the naïve subjects of the time, but few years later, he noticed that the photography was much more than the bucolic repetition which reminded a lot the academy of fine arts and he started to experiment. He and his colleagues as Geraldo de Barros, Eduardo Salvatore, Ademar Manarini, German Lorca and Thomaz Farkas brought new ideas for the photographic language passing from the classic to the modern. By the way, this group of pioneers started to be named as the founders of the "São Paulo school of the photography" by the critics of that time.
His work seems as small tricks to us carrying out the best of this word. The eyes of a boy would see as if his constructions were unveiling his imaginary. His wandering look belongs to the observer. It might be a way to free the respected and successful entrepreneur and to bring to the surface his talents and his artistic wills. Curious, he takes a position, seeks for a different look and depicts cities and streets which had been perceived with all the senses. It seems as if we were walking together with him through the places he had been. In the photos of the city, for example, he subtly shows the modernity of the metropolis which starts and discloses behind the fog, in the exit of the tunnels, in the monuments construction, in the buildings that appear behind the trees. However, it was in the studio that his experimentations became more evident in the search of a modern image. Tricks with glasses, bottles, reflexes and with table-tops in which he creates several sceneries again and loosens up all his imagination and will to construct images and to puzzle a less attentive look. The photographic making incorporates to his art.
His motto is to surprise, to take the observers out of the comfortable side, creating a certain stylistic discomfort. As if he was telling us: "Look! Learn how to look!"
He has never abandoned any of the styles and his work turned out to be a beautiful eclectic collection. Still lives started to coexist with abstract experimentations. So, in some way, we can follow the very development of ideas at the Bandeirante Cine Photo Club.
When observing his photographs one by one, it is evident that borders or limitations did not serve his search, his will to create. Everything was small! And such was his will that in the 50's he leaves the Bandeirante Cine Photo Club and together with his friends, who were also unhappy with the stylistics lines adopted by them, starts up the Group of the Six. It was there, by the way, that it worked more on his assemblies, compositions and table-tops.
It is true that time always adds up emotion to our experiences, but it was already with latent emotion that Gaspar Gasparian made his images, with no hurry, with no demand, for the sheer pleasure of registering and leaving the memory of a time for us, a time which only his eyes were able to see.
"Gaspar Gasparian, when exploring the plastic aspects of the city landscape, was one of those pioneers who introduced and consolidated the modern photograph in Brazil. The clipping of the constructions, the posts, the stones of the cobbled streets and any other objects he found during his wandering through the city, were transfigured under his look by the simple incidence of the natural light. Gasparian devoted himself to one of the most valued and peculiar aspects of the photograph: creating while walking, letting himself be only taken by the intuition. (Cristiano Mascaro, photographer)
"Gaspar Gasparian is an admirable exponent of the Pictorialism late entrance in Brazil, which had already been depleted as a style by either the European vanguards or the North American photograph. The Pictorialism was an aesthetic reply to the principle of Baudelaire, when the poet and critic refers to an absence of the authorial subjectivity in the photograph. Beyond Pictorialism and as a style of a strong presence in photo clubism, what is surprising in Gaspar Gasparian's photographs is the influence of the modern photograph in unusual angles and geometric constructions with light and shades in urban environment and, here we can find one of the most updated dialogue aspects with the vanguards aesthetic of the time"(Fernando de Tacca, photographer and professor at the Department of Multimedia, Media and Communication of the Institute of Art of Unicamp - University of Campinas).
"He was a great friend, who photographed the big city. A person, whose kindness and generosity were completely unusual in a photo club. (Thomaz Farkas, photographer, movie maker, cinematographer and entrepreneur).
"We were colleagues in the photo club and years later we found out our families have been friends for a long time. We grew up together in the same street of Brás (a São Paulo district). I've became the official photographer of Gasparian's family. A kind and friendly person" (German Lorca, photographer)