Christopher Anderson
Christopher Anderson
Capitolio
Capitolio is New York documentary photographer Christopher Anderson’s cinematic journey through the upheavals of contemporary Caracas,Venezuela, in the tradition of such earlier projects as William Klein’s New York (1954-55) and Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958). It presents a poetic and politicized vision, by one of today’s finest documentary photographers, of a city and a country that is ripping apart at the seams under the stress of popular unrest, and whose turmoil remains largely unreported by Western media. No stranger to such fraught situations (he covered the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel from its inception), Anderson notates the country’s current incongruities, where the violent and the sensual intermingle chaotically. “The word “capitolio” refers to the domed building that houses a government”, writes Anderson, elaborating on the title of this volume; “here, the city of Caracas, Venezuela, is itself a metaphorical capitolio building. The decaying Modernist architecture,with a jungle growing through the cracks, becomes the walls of this building and the violent streets become the corridors where the human drama plays itself out in what President Hugo Chavez called a ‘revolution’.’’

Biography
Christopher Anderson (1970) was born in Canada and grew up in west Texas, where his father was apreacher. His life in photography began in the photo lab of the Dallas Morning News where he learned to develop film and print pictures. In 1993, Christopher was hired as a staff photographer for a small Colorado newspaper. Never comfortable with the idea of working as an employee, he left the newspaper in 1995 and began doing freelance assignments. In 1996, he became a contract photographer for the U.S. News and World Report where he began documenting social issues such as the effects of Russia’s economic crisis, the situation of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and, more recently, the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia. He first gained recognition for his pictures in 1999 when he boarded a handmade, wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America. The boat, named the Believe In God, sank in the Caribbean. In 2000 the images from that journey would receive the Robert Capa Gold Medal. They would also mark the emergence of an emotionally charged style that he refers to as ‘’experiential documentary’’ and has come to characterize his work since. Christopher Anderson is a member of Magnum Photos and is currently the New York Magazine’s first ever photographer-in- residence.