Pleasure vs. Knowledge

by Simone Dutra

A few years ago reading about Against-Violence-Protest discussion in a Facebook group, I ended up in a blog, which a few days later I’ve found to be written by a documentary and travel photographer. Since then I never stopped following his work. One funny nice guy, that is constantly under my radar that became a virtual friend.

A few months ago, he published that he was going to sell some of his images for a very friendly price. A limited edition of 37 that have been previously published at National Geographic, Rolling Stone, El País, The Guardian, some also had been awarded.

I thought: “Yes! That it! That was my opportunity to buy it!”

Honestly I never thought of buying Art. I mean, I did, but always thought it would be something duper expensive. Ok, ok… I know! It can be. Usually it is. But not always, right?

Anyway… going back to the images.

I opened the link and there it was, that one image of him that was constantly coming to my mind. This is called memorability, the most important quality of an image in my opinion. That fisherman with the fishing net….

That one image was the first one on the list. I started looking at the other images and in the end I found myself halting between my ever favorite and another one.

The one and only problem with the second image was that it was a document of a tragedy. The tragedy of Mariana. But still, a memorable image for me. The colors, the crop, the composition, the minimalist aspect of it (if I may say this). Everything about it drags me right into that image except…(again) it is a document of a tragedy. How could I look to this image in my wall and not think about it?

I thought for a few days and decided to stick with the fisherman.

Well, why am I telling you all of this? Because I am still not convinced that we should know all about the story behind an image in order to buy it.

Should we?

If I did not know the story behind image I’d certainly buy it too (as he offered a discount for the second image (smiling)… but I still couldn’t cope with the idea).

So, when choosing a piece of art, should we consider only what is pleasing?Should we know all about it?


The photographer I am writing about is Marcio Pimenta.
The image of the Fisherman is part of the series Fisherman.
The image that was my second choice, is part of the series Mariana.
Among all of the available videos of the tragedy, this one was the most shocking for me.
Here is the list of the 37 images he was selling for a “friendly” price.