Manuel Luís Cochofel's work, spanning almost 25 years of continuous activity, is undeniably eclectic. There is a clear willingness to always explore new ideas and paths, to experiment with different approaches and subjects. However, there are two aspects that are almost a constant and perhaps best define his aesthetic: portraiture, and the juxtaposition/overlay of photography with other digital media.
Portraiture runs through nearly all of his works. The face is approached from multiple angles, yet always maintaining a noticeable sobriety, highlighting its utmost significance.
But the use of various digital media such as television, computer, or Google Maps is perhaps his most disruptive and original photographic approach. This path has been followed since 2007 with the work 'Zapping', in which he captured medium-format film images from a poorly tuned TV in a motel in the USA, ironically illustrating the almost insane proximity of truly disparate subjects within the same medium. In 2009, with 'Valentina 170167', he photographs online dating advertisements, a universe that was emerging at the time. Once again, the overlap of two media, as well as portraiture, are present. Also from 2009 is the work 'Binary Bodies', an appropriation/homage to E. Muybridge's work. Cochofel isolates images from the famous sequences of the 19th-century English photographer's work, decontextualizing and giving them new life by photographing them with a macro lens directly on a computer screen, resulting in futuristic, graphic images that appear to be made of thousands of neon lamps. In 2014, he creates the work 'Edge', where he photographs the outskirts of Lisbon using images from Google Maps, including all the errors and defects that they sometimes bring, thus providing a completely different reading of that urban reality. In 2020, he produces 'Unreal Estate', once again using Google Maps to bring transformed digital universes into photography. Lastly, his most recent work from 2023 represents the ultimate fusion of the two aforementioned aspects: portraiture and new technologies. In 'No body', Cochofel creates a series of portraits using only AI (Artificial Intelligence), without the presence of the photographed individual, because here, they never existed.
Manuel Luís Cochofel was born in Huambo, Angola. Lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. He has a degree in Music by the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa. Some of his works where bought by public and private institutions in Portugal and abroad, like Optimus, Thyssen-Krupps, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Tubus, Camara Municipal de Vila Franca de Xira, Câmara Municipal da Moita, Banco Privado Atlântico, etc.
2009: 'The Inner World of Valentina 170167', Galeria Pente 10, Lisbon.
2009: 'Binary Bodies' at Fabulas, Lisbon, with curatorship of UMBIGO Magazine.
2006: ‘Stop.Motion’ at Centro de Cultura Contemporânea de Torres Vedras
2005: '(In)quietudes' at Escola Superior de Educação de Setúbal
2005: 'Rolling Lives', LisboaPhoto, Galeria Álvaro Roquette.Arte
2014: 'Novos Trabalhos #2', at Galeria Av. da Índia, Lisbon, with curatorship by António Júlio Duarte.
2013: 'Encenação e revelação' at AFK Gallery, Lisbon.
2013: 'Fotografia Contemporânea', at AFK Gallery, Lisbon.
2008: ‘Dress Code’, in Primopiano Gallery, Lecce, Italy.
2008: ‘Eros e Thanatos’, in Primopiano Gallery, Lecce, Italy.
2007: ‘Crush on Rush’ (work about New York) with Rui Dias Monteiro at ‘Galeria 9arte’ , Lisboa.
2006: Projecto_Lisboa, in Estufa Fria, Lisbon.
2006: II Mostra de Fotografia do Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.
2006: IX Bienal de Fotografia de Vila Franca de Xira.
2005: VII Bienal de Fotografia da Moita.
2005: VIII Bienal de Artes Plásticas Cidade do Montijo.
2004: FIXART, IX mostra colectiva de Fotografia, Torres Vedras.
2004: ‘uma forma concreta ou (re)velada’ na ‘Galeria 9arte’ in Lisboa, with Teresa
2004: Colective with Bruno Espadana in Espaço Sacramento, Lisboa.
2003: Colective ‘Ponto.com’, Centro Cultural de Lagos.
2005: First Prize (ex-aequo) of the IX Bienal de Fotografia de Vila Franca de Xira, with the work "Rolling Lives".
2005: First Prize (b/w) in the VIII Concurso de Fotografia da Vila de Corroios.
2005: First Prize in the III Concurso de Fotografia de Porto de Mós ‘Fotomós’.
2004: Honorable Mention in the Concurso “Um Certo Olhar” of BES.
2003: First Prize (color) in the V Concurso Nacional de Fotógrafos Amadores, da AGEFE.
2003: First Prize (b/w) in the VI Concurso de Fotografia da Vila de Corroios.
2002: Second Prize (b/w) in the V Concurso de Fotografia da Vila de Corroios.
2022: Cover and interior photographs of the CD "(Flut)uações".
2020: Cover of the CD "LAB" by Ricardo Pinheiro & Miguel Amado.
2015: Cover and interior photographs of the CD "Entre Madeiras" by the Portuguese Classical Trio, Entre Madeiras.
2011: Cover and interior photographs of the CD "Incógnito" by Paulo Amorim.
2008: Several photographs in the book ‘Photography FAQs: Portraits’ by AVA Publishing.
2008: Portfolio in the magazine ‘Autêntica’, 1st number of 2008.
2008: Cover of the book: 'Dossier Regicídio' of Editora Tribuna.
2006: Cover of the book: ‘O rapaz que amava Anne Frank’ by Ellen Feldman.
2006: Cover and folio in the Magazine A23.
2006: Cover of the CD "Música Contemporâneo Portuguesa" of the “Trio Mediterrain”
2005: Cover of the CD of Jazz “RAUM”
2005: Folio on the Magazine Artes.
2004: Cover of the CD “Corvos 3”
2004: Photos in the books: ‘The AVA Guide to Travel Photography’ and ‘The AVA
Guide for Outdoor Portraits’ of Cathy Joseph.
2004: Folio in the Magazine Super Foto Prática.
2002: Cover of the book “O Deus Que Guarda o Escritor” by Maria Helena Ventura.