Daniel Botelho | About

I was born and raised in Brazil from where I moved abroad at age eleven due to my father’s work. I have been traveling the world ever since, having lived in fourteen countries and am now based in Brussels. I studied journalism in Boston and film in Barcelona. After a few years in the film industry I decided to take up humanitarian labor where my relationship with photography was sealed. I took two photography workshops one with Patrick Zachman and another with Alex Webb.


I am a street and documentary photographer, my documentary photography developed during my time in the field as a humanitarian worker and my street photography developed as I passed through major metropolis during my travels between missions. Photographing was a mean to come to terms with the shocking contrast between the reality in the field and that of cities in developed countries, hence photography became a way to comment on the human condition. The isolation and alienation in the modern metropolis and the paradoxical and the absurd in our society are recurrent themes in my work. In my photography I search for that fleeting moment when magic happens and some aspect of the human condition is summed up in an image, and the world is caught in a nut shell, much like proverbs translate chapters of human experience into maxims. My work is also an alternative to the eremitic streak of conceptual art, which pervades more and more our cultural landscape, and rarely engages the audience in active reflection about society. 


I have exhibited my work at the De Markten cultural center in Brussels in two different occasions, the first exhibit was about my documentary work in Syria during the war and the refugee camp in Calais, France and the second was about my ongoing fine art photography work on Belgium. A Retrospective of My work about Syria, Central Africa, Palestine, Calais and a Red Cross refugee center was exhibited in the Cite Miroir cultural center in Liege for the twentieth anniversary of operation of the Red Cross refugee center in Nonceveux, Belgium.


My work about the refugee camp in Calais was screened at the 2016 Visa Pour L’image festival, I had a Coup de Coeur from ANI for my work about e Red Coss refugee center, and various other projects have been published, among others, by Liberation, Caros Amigos magazine, l’Oeil de la Photographie, Imagine magazine and MSF publications.


Most of my photographic influences come from the ground breaking perspectives in documenting our social phenomena of Magnum agency photographers, never the less painting is also a very strong influence on my work, it was so probably before photography became one, from Bruegel’s parable in “the blind leading the blind”, and Caravaggio’s studies of shadows, to the more complex commentary and portrayal of the human mind and soul offered by the visual poetry in the works of Di Chirico, Hopper and Magritte who delved into the human abyss in their canvas, onto the use of irony in Pop art through juxtapositions of different mundane objects of mass culture.


I became a member of Hans Lucas in 2015, and my work is represented in Brussels by Monochrome View Gallery.