AGP António Gonçalves Pedro ©Luís Vasconcelos © Luís Vasconcelos

AGP António Gonçalves Pedro

António Gonçalves Pedro was born in 1927 in Cabeça das Mós, Sardoal. He lived the entirety of his active life in Mora until his death at 72, leaving an archive of more than one hundred thousand negatives, mostly, portraits.
Gonçalves Pedro arrived in Mora when he was 16 to work at a counter of a drugstore owned by a hometown fellow. Later on AGP would take ownership of the shop. Being very keen on photography from a very young age, he set his "Studio Fotográfico" in one of the shop’s backrooms – indeed, the first newly built facility for photography-making in the Mora council.
Throughout half a century, the “Tony from the shop” photographed all the inhabitants in the council. When photographs in ID cards became mandatory, he then opened other small studios in rented houses in the districts of Pavia and Cabeção. He would go there once a week to make the portraits of the villagers, carrying with him a large cinema screen to unfold and use as a background. In such cases he always used natural light whereas artificial light was only for studio work and flash was for covering weddings.
AGP – the acronym he used as his professional name – would print square proofs from the 6x6 negatives; hence the photographs handed in to the clients always had a different framing than the ones in the negatives.
Confronted with the pictures made by AGP – as observed by the critic João Lopes – "we’re facing a Portugal of the genuine, radical kind; that is, clung to the roots of what we are, what we feel, what we know (and do not know) about our identity, our particular ways of being as individuals, and our ways of living collectively.”


AGP António Gonçalves Pedro ©AGP António Gonçalves Pedro


AGP Fotógrafo de Mora

Edição: Câmara Municipal de Mora
Edição fotográfica: Luís Vasconcelos
Textos: José Pinto de Sá e João Lopes
Design: Henrique Cayatte
Coordenação: Teresa Vasconcelos
Setembro de 2003

Este livro é um caso de amor. Este livro é um caso de Mora. Não fora a descoberta que o antigo marçano de uma loja de ferragens, António Gonçalves Pedro, fizera de Mora, das pessoas, dos ambientes, dos pensamentos, fixando-os para sempre e este livro não chegava a sê-lo. Não fora também o olhar de Luís Vasconcelos, um olhar atento para uma fotografia ao acaso na loja agora dos filhos de AGP, e a história destes olhares ficava por contar. Este livro é resultado de um longo (mais de dois anos) trabalho de selecção e edição de milhares de negativos deixados por AGP, o Fotógrafo de Mora. Uma fotografia solta, perdida, foi o ponto de partida para contar histórias que o tempo iria irremediavelmente apagar. Fica a memória que a partir de agora passa a fazer parte também da história de Mora."

AGP Fotógrafo de Mora ©AGP António Gonçalves Pedro