O Rio de Janeiro

Alfred Knopf, 1986

Alfred Knopf

"O Rio De Janiero" (1986) was a highly influential book set in the famous Brazilian city and its environs. Its release was accompanied by an exhibition at Robert Miller Gallery which traveled throughout the United States. As described in the Vince Aletti's "100 Books," O Rio "brought all the elements of Weber's commercial work together and was the first to incorporate the vivacious pastiche of original and borrowed material that had become the signature of his issue-filling spreads in Per Lui and L'Uomo Vogue. Weber turned his trademark fiction of youthful exuberance and sexy camaraderie into a fast-paced montage intercut with landscapes, still lifes, news photos, family snapshots, and drawings by Richard Giglio. An extended portrait of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion Rickson Gracie ground the book in a passage of documentary realness…but O Rio is most successful as a carefully planned act of seduction." It was also the first book in the contemporary period to revisit Rio as a location for fashion photo production. While fashion is not explicitly the focus of "O Rio," the author's established prominence within the industry imbues the imagery and the locale with a feeling of glamour, decadence and sensuality. Many consider the book the starting point for the ongoing trend of western photographers who seek out Brazil as a locale for their shoots, an interesting outcome of "O Rio" that was explored in the 2008 exhibition, Brazil: desFocos. "O Rio" was designed by Sam Shahid, the first in a long series of collaborations between the photographer and art director.