One never knows exactly what affect a photograph will have; they are, in a sense, the “wishbones of time.” The larger part, the captured wish-- the image, hardly more than a collaboration of pixels or a silver sensitized piece of paper, yet, a symbol, abstract and resonant, ready to give deeper meaning to the “smaller” part left behind. I have always recognized the beauty, meaning and excitement inherent in “everyday” people and events. For me the still photograph is in a sense a catalyst for thought; it freezes the moment and allows us a form of privileged proximity to situations and events. It allows us to carry the moment with us.
“Circles of the Heart” was a photo essay, which began in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It was my intention to promote healing and understanding in Crown Heights by introducing my subjects by way of everyday encounters as individuals, rather than by stereotypical, faceless symbols of Black, White, Jew, Moslem, Asian, Hispanic, sometimes presented by the media. As time went on, the “Circle…” has widened to embrace people of all lands. It is my belief that intercultural understanding is the cornerstone of world peace. When cultures stop trying to understand one another, horrific things begin to happen. The present spirit of humanism ushered in by Barak Obama’s Presidency is, in a sense, a validation of so much of what my work has been striving to achieve, in focusing upon the ever widening “Circles of the Heart”
It is my hope that my photographic work --whether it be chance street encounters close to home, in Crown Heights. Brooklyn, or at the mouth of the Amazon-- will introduce my subjects, not only as individuals in the context of their diverse lives and communities but also as ambassadors of the human spirit.
Anthony Almeida’s photographic work was in many ways fueled by his childhood experiences in Brazil, his father’s homeland. When he arrived there at the age of six, family, friends, and outsiders, who derived from different racial, religious, and cultural groups, confronted him. Despite initial bewilderment, he quickly felt quite comfortable. Their “differences” seemed to present few barriers. “I just remember having good feelings about people who looked different. I try to draw from those feelings of connectedness when I approach my photography and my life.”
Anthony is a fine arts photographer, educator and photo-documentarian, who studied with Lisette Modell. He spent many years teaching English and photography in a high school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His photographic work is extremely diversified, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards. His work has been shown in national and international shows, and is in private, personal and educational collections.
More recently, (Nov. 4, 2009), his "Victory Kiss--Times Square" photograph gained international attention. It was used to introduce the Barack and Michelle Obama feature story in the new york Times Magazine and on the front page of the International Herald Tribune. The Courrier Japon, Tokyo's premier monthly news magazine also published it in January with the Obama "First Marriage" story.
When not teaching, he is often involved with photographic projects that are personally meaningful. One of Anthony’s photographic passions is “street photography,” and he considers the street to be, “the greatest stage of all," wherein position juxtaposition and sensitivity sometimes conspire to make the fleeting moment eternal.