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Rene Alexander Cabral

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Biography

René Alexander Cabral was born in Lisbon, Portugal. At an early age he moved with his family to the Dominican Republic, and it was on this beautiful island that he spent most of his formative years and received his primary education. Cabral obtained his secondary education in the United States.

After graduating from high school, Cabral decided to attend the University of Miami. It was here that he took his first photography course and studied under Michelle Edelson. Cabral found in Edelson a professor who was to have a profound influence on his work ethic and his attitude towards photography. Although he had already begun to make images at a very young age, his studies with Edelson were to exert a marked influence on his life and work.

Seeking a more specialized course of study, Cabral transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design. In this school he studied under many exceptional professors who gave him great encouragement. The two professors who were to have the greatest influence on him were Craig Stevens and Steve Bliss. Under the supervision of Stevens, Cabral was granted an independent study on the 19th century photomechanical Woodburytype process. Cabral was very successful in rediscovering and improving on this complex and incredibly beautiful process. Cabral graduated summa cum laude and received his B.F.A. in photography. His first solo exhibition, titled “The Isolation of Nuance,” was held from June through July 1995, at the Bergen Hall Gallery in Savannah, Georgia.

Following his graduation, Cabral went to work briefly for Patrick Demarchelier and Wendell Maruyama in New York City. Mr. Demarchelier is a prominent portraitist and fashion photographer whose work has frequently graced the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and other magazines. It was through his exposure to Demarchelier’s work ethic and attention to detail that Cabral consolidated his awareness of the concept of taking every element of a project to its final level. It was here that he learned that there is actually no final level—that any endeavor can always be taken further. It is this ethic and all of its implications, which form an integral part of his passionate search for the ultimate clarity of personal expression.

After leaving New York, Cabral worked as an apprentice to Lucien Clergue in Arles, France. Mr. Clergue is an internationally renowned French photographer who came of age in post-war Europe within the circles of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau—two artists with whom Clergue enjoyed close friendships. Clergue was instrumental in founding both the annual Rencontres Photographiques d’Arles and L’Ecole National de la Photographie in his native Arles. Under the tutelage of Clergue, Cabral learned the true necessity of abandoning oneself to one’s vision as an artist.

Cabral is now planning an extensive sequence-oriented photographic project on the little-known island of Corsica. The sequential format will provide him an ideal medium through which to explore his ideas about visual communication. The goal of this project is to produce an artistic interpretation of Corsica in which the context, orchestration, transition, and development of visual themes will document the island’s unique landscape and biological diversity, as well as provide an insightful collective portrait of Corsican society.

Currently residing in Miami, Cabral has been producing platinum and palladium prints of the floral images from his “Isolation of Nuance” series. These subtle and uniquely beautiful images are in editions of ten, and are available individually or in a boxed portfolio edition of twenty images: ten palladium and ten platinum prints. Framed in simple, identical frames, these pieces evoke the classic floral studies of such artists as Anna Atkins, William Henry Fox Talbot, and other pioneering 19th century English and French photographers. The “Isolation of Nuance” portfolio was conceived of a cohesive series, and the prints work together wonderfully in multi-image installations.