One of the three best things I have ever done in my life is visit Rio 3 years running (1975, ’76 and ’77) and for 4 days non stop I took endless pictures from morning till the following morning … click, click click! Hence the book ‘Carnival in Rio’ published by Hawthorn Book Inc, in New York was published in 1978.
The other 2 ‘greats’ in my life were giving birth to my 4 children and flying into New York with the entire world ordering my hand-knitted sweaters – Edina & Lena Hand-knitted Originals.
I first came to Rio in 1974 with my then husband, Douglas Villiers, and some friends at the invitation of Jorge Guinle, one of Rio’s most fabulous characters, party-giver and dedicated socialite.
Rio was a revelation of optimism – beaches packed with suntanned bodies, crowds dancing the samba on street tabletops, the city alive to its nerve ends with a feeling of elation and anticipation. We went largely where our cameras led us and photographed people and places that “had” to be photographed, took pictures of things that happened impromptu, mainly because of the impact they had on us rather than because they were absolutely fundamental to the overall story. It is difficult to know where to be at any one time, and we tended therefore to be where we thought there would be the most fun.
As Albert Goldman so rightly said “there’s no rhythm in the world like the beat of that Carnival samba down in Rio.”
33 years later since the book was published, my wonderful son, Oliver Proudlock, has designed and built the company Serge DeNimes, incorporating a range of fabulous t-shirts using the Rio images. I love wearing the t-shirts as not only are they super comfortable, but they remind me of my Rio days.
-Lena Proudlock, 2011
Limited edition prints of these unique and energetic photographs can still be obtained through Lena’s website.