Miguel da Silva Paranhos do Rio Branco was born in 1946 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Rio Branco is a painter, photographer, filmmaker, and creator of multimedia installations who currently lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. He worked extensively in Europe and the America since the beginning of his career in 1964 and has an exhibition in Bern, Switzerland.
In 1966, he studied at the New York Institute of Photography and in 1968 at the School of Industrial Design in Rio de Janeiro. In 1964, Rio Branco began exhibiting paintings and photographs and in 1972 began creating films. He worked as a photographer and director of experimental films in New York from 1970 to 1972. He photographed and directed short films and features in the next nine years. In parallel, pursuing his photography staff, he developed a working document of strong poetic charge. Soon, he was recognized as one of the best color photojournalists. He is a correspondent of Magnum Photos since 1980, having his work published around the world.
In 1980 Miguel Rio Branco had been acclaimed internationally for his films and photographs in the form of awards, publications and exhibitions, such as the Grand Prize of the First Triennial of Photography Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo and the Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique in 1982 France (along with two other photographers). His photographic work has been presented in several exhibitions in the last 20 years as the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, Sao Paulo Biennial, 1983; at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1989; at the Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, 1988; Burden Gallery, Aperture Foundation, New York, 1986; Magnum Gallery, Paris, 1985; MASP, São Paulo; Photogallery FUNARTE, Rio de Janeiro, 1988; Kunstverein Frankfurt, in Prospect in 1996; Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, 1996.
Miguel Rio Branco has directed 14 short films and photographed eight long. His most recent work as director of photography can be seen in the 1988 film, “An avenue called Brazil ” by Otavio Bezerra. He won the award for best cinematographer for his work in “Living Memory” by Otavio Bezerra and “Abolition” of Zozimo Bulbul Film Festival of Brazil in 1988. He also directed and photographed seven experimental films and two videos, including “Nothing will bring those who die when they procure should charge me in hell,” which won the award for best cinematography at the Film Festival of Brasilia and the Special Jury Prize and International Critics Award at the XI International Festival of Documentary and Short of Lille, France in 1982.
Rio Branco’s photographs were published in various magazines like Stern, National Geographic, Geo, Aperture, Photo Magazine, Europeo, Paseante. Sudor Dulce Amargo, the first book of Rio Branco was published in 1985 by the Economic Culture Fund, Mexico. His first book was published in 1985 by the Economic Culture Fund of Mexico. His second one, Nakta, with a poem by Louis Calaferte was published in 1996 by the Cultural Foundation of Curitiba. In 1998 he released two books: Miguel Rio Branco, with essay by David Levi Strauss, published by Aperture and Silent Book, by Cosac Naify.
Miguel Rio Branco’s works can be found in public and private collections along Eyrope and USA, including: Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paulo, the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Centre George Pompidou , Paris, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Museum of Photographic Arts of San Diego and the Metropolitan Museum of New York.