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Moysés Baumstein, a biographic resume

Moysés Baumstein, driven by singular curiosity and diligence, worked in many fields: from literary creation to painting, from film making to holography.

With a multidiscipline academic graduation in economics, sociology, mathematics and theater, he has typified the real “Renascence Man” joining science with art throughout his accomplishments.

Part of his character was the mocking invalidation of pre-established concepts as a means of fulfilling his investigative mind, unyielding in the search of new forms of expression and in compliance with all sorts of challenges.
A caustic and analytic sense of humor pervaded his life apart from a creative turmoil.
A universal sense of humor – typical of his Jewish origin – founded on utter nonsense.

His artistic and literary production faithfully mirrored a personality where the weird and the nonsensical were the essence of his aesthetic sources, the so called “mixture of ontological levels” or, ultimately, the human integrated into the mechanic, the mineral into the organic, but always the aftermath of a good humored and satiric mind.
The driving force which guided him throughout his life in the search for different patterns of visual expressions resulted from the impact of a teenage reminiscence:
-Sometime, in the course of the 40's, when passing in front of a shop window he saw a small photo that showed the three dimensional figure of a woman. Something entirely new for those times and unbelievable for the young and curious fifteen year old Moyses. Which techniques had been used to obtain that “miracle”, that hyper reality sensation?
A forty-year research had just begun with a plunge into photography, going through chemistry, drawing, painting, photomechanical techniques, graphic art, films and video...



Overwhelmed by that three-dimensional image he had seen as a boy in a shop window (obtained through the overlapping of a rippled crystal plate by a technique called anaglyph) Moyses Baumstein decided to explore whatever information could be obtained about stereoscopy. Since then he bought books, adapted filters and started to produce three-dimensional images by projecting overlapped images on green and red colors, and later on through polarizing filters, allowing the three-dimensional visualization of photos and films with special glasses.

Moyses Baumstein continued to practice photography throughout the years, but he had an opportunity to specialize after entering the field of the graphic arts. In the management of graphic industry in 1968 (Símbolo S/A), he obtained the necessary means to continue his researches on printed surface.
He published children books experimentally in which green and red glasses were used and in 1972 he developed a three-dimensional system of photography and printing to produce commercial anaglyphs in high scale (a technique commercially used only in Japan and in the United States for post cards). However, he was not convinced of that 3D media, especially in terms of art and expression.

In 1981, he became for the first time acquainted with holography, an expression of art so far inadequately explored and restricted mostly to the research laboratories, though with significant creative possibilities. In spite of the scarce information available in Brazil, and accredited to his “renascence” upbringing, Baumstein in a short time incorporated the know-how to produce holograms.
His first experiences in holography were carried out in 1982 with the use of makeshift equipment. Notwithstanding, a new perspective had been uncovered and Moyses started the production of holography as a pastime for him and other artists until a workshop that took place in 1983, with the German artist Dieter Jung, results in the need to improve the production.

In 1984 he developed an unheard-of technique for chromatic control in reflection holograms. The scarcity of resources compelled him to innovate in order to achieve every day amazing results. Such techniques were ironically christened as “Puff System of Color Control”.
From this time on the equipment in his laboratory was improved and the production became regular. His first exposition, ‘Holograms” was exhibited at the "Sound and Image Museum" (Museu da Image e do Som-MIS) in São Paulo with 20 reflection holograms.

His production increased in number and in quality and later on was headed towards the commercial area. Holographic displays were created for promotional use in expositions and events in addition to several different purposes for the marketing area. Moyses exerted his best efforts to obtain sizes up to 1m X 0,8m and his clients were mostly represented by the marketing department of different companies and advertising agencies. From then on, in Brazil, the commercial holography had evolved into reality.

In the commercial and artistic levels a thorough research for this form of expression had begun. The absence of a holographic syntax became a hindrance to the development and acceptance of the new process. Moyses wished that holography were not only a mere technological novelty or a laboratory curiosity and to this end he moved toward artists, poets and performers who had participated in the “Movimento Concretista” namely Augusto de Campos, Décio Pignatari, Júlio Plaza and José Wagner Garcia. Altogether they developed a variety of projects where the concepts of holography intertwined with the concrete poetry as a new expression of language more adequate to three-dimensional environment.

Resulting from this meeting, Triluz, the group first exposition was exhibited at the MIS in São Paulo in December 1985, were Baumstein transformed each artist projects into a holography. The collection of works led to several expositions abroad (Portugal and Spain) besides the commercialization of some of the holograms to be incorporated into private collections in the United States, Italy and Switzerland. Idehologia, a second exposition that took place in 1987 at the “Museum of Contemporary Art” (Museu de Arte Contemporânea-MAC) of the University of São Paulo was the climax of other fields of combined researches. The projects became more ambitious and complex, depending on support or sponsorship to become real, a real barrier to new expositions.

Moyses carried out researches in the area of holographic films and built a prototype of a holographic kinetoscope with the help of artist José Wagner Garcia, – a device based on the primitive age of cinema, when holographic plates were placed with a succession of images visualized through a synchronized system of stroboscopic light and huge plastic lenses. The result allowed the visualization of the animation of these “tri-dimensional frames” in the space.

In parallel, Moyses continued to develop a commercial holography and accomplished the printed holography, a technique of mass production which employed a support of metallized polyester whose know-how was in possession of less than ten companies in the world. In 1988 he founded the Holobrás, a company aimed at the production and commercialization of printed holograms which in less than a year comprised 45% of the Brazilian market for the printed product. Moyses had even developed special machinery with a substantial production for the stamping of polyester. However, the moving Brazilian economy of that time grew into a big recession and two years later Holobrás had to close down. So, the commercial holographic activity became restricted to the craftsmanship production of holographic displays and to artistic individual work.

Moyses accomplishments in holography continued to the end of his life. It has been his most impressive work in terms of production: summing up the commercial and artistic holograms (see Commercial Holography Link) he produced more than 280 works.


His first experiences concerning cinematographic technique took place at the end of the fifties with scripts and short productions in 16 mm format, however in face of its significant costs he abandoned the movie and headed his activities towards theater.
Therefore at the beginning of the sixties he attended the "Drama Art School" (Escola de Arte Dramática-EAD) of the University of São Paulo under direction of Alfredo Mesquita, an important theater critic and professor from that time in Brazil.

From 1964 to 1967 he wrote and directed a few experimental plays and some TV scripts for the so called "teleteathers" for the Tupi TV and Excelsior TV in São Paulo until his professional activities led him to the graphic and publishing areas.

In the seventies, with diffusion of the Super-8, film making became more feasible. In a whole, a down to earth technique of cinematographic filming with a certain degree of quality had appeared promoting a worldwide explosion in the use of this format. Encouraged by Abraão Berman, who had introduced GRIFE, the most famous center of studies and courses on Super-8 films in Brazil, Baumstein set again his mind to write for the cinema. Everywhere, Super-8 festivals were being held to channel people’s enthusiasm for the “new” form of cinema. Moyses’ eagerness produced intensively with the seal of his peculiar sense of humor making him finish more than 20 movie pictures in the period of 6 years. His participation in several festivals made him one of the most awarded S8 filmmakers in Brazil and abroad.

Actually, to a certain extent, all his films produced during the seventies transpired a caustic and critic sense of humor in which the most frequent themes were about the media, the curse of everyday life, the mass culture and the "ideological policing". Somehow all dogmas were scrutinized, even those associated with the sensitive and untouchable political and social issues of that period of the Brazilian history. No excuses for anyone, whether from the right or left...
At the beginning of the eighties, with the Super-8 downfall in Brazil, and the entrée of video making, Baumstein changed the course of his attention to this new media.

In 1981 the foundation of VIDECOM joined by his son Alberto, resulted as an independent production house that made possible the continuation of his well humored productions and the experience with new ways in terms of visual and conceptual programs. He had created and directed many corporate videos with a different look and original scripts giving a fresh approach to that kind of production. Some of his more personal productions were headed to alternative TV programs and Video Festivals were he was awarded in several occasions.


In the search for images, drawing had always been a part of his activities. At the end of the fifties, he had started his career as a painter with the Catalan Master Juan Ponç with whom he opened the atelier L’Espai in 1960.

At the beginning, he developed oil painting in canvas; however, drawings with China ink opened way to the expressions of his grotesque universe. Between 1962 and 1967 he exhibited his works in the IX Bienal of São Paulo, at the 1ª Semana Nacional de Artes Plásticas and in the XV Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna.

In the meantime, in 1966 he made an exhibition, his first individual exposition, at the Galeria Seta in São Paulo. As a development to his works, he later learned the art of metal engraving and etching with artist Gruber. The experiences in the field of graphic arts and photomechanical allowed him to explore techniques for cooper photoengraving and to produce a significant number of works until 1972.

During the eighties he reverted to drawing with a series of original and well humored themes that he called Bicaras ("double faces"), inspired on “upside-down” illustrations from the end of the XIX century and which revealed amazing images when turned upside down

Painting had also been resumed and inserted into this new thematic world where the most recent materials such as acrylic inks were employed. Ultimately, a passionate artistic activity which produced numerous art works with the help of a variety of techniques.


During the sixties, and in conjunction with the publisher Jacob Guinsburg, Baumstein founded the Editora Perspectiva as a repercussion of his publishing of several essays on economics and sociology during the academic period. He had an opportunity to share the company of several authors, exceptional minds such as the great German scholar Anatol Rosenfeld. Furthermore he started to exercise his literary talents writing short essays and stories.

Jacob Guinsburg experience and influence in the publishing house guided him towards an abrupt professional revision. In 1968, at the head of a group of investors he founded Simbolo SA Indústrias Gráficas definitely establishing his insertion in the graphic/publishing context, which conveyed the necessary means for his subsequent accomplishments in the artistic field.

With the inauguration of the Edições Simbolo in 1976, he started the fight for a publishing project aimed at the Brazilian literature which resulted also in his first book As Máquinas, where black humor accompanied by an aesthetic conception clearly based on grotesque and science fiction impregnated his stories.

Along the eighties his literary activities had been discontinued for a period when he was invited to write a fortnight column about the Jewish humor (one of his passions). During more than three years he published articles in the "De Moisés a Moysés" a column of the A Resenha Judaica, a newspaper directed for the São Paulo Jewish community.

Moysés Baumstein spent all his life in the city of São Paulo. He called himself a “urban creature who would never survive in the pure air of the countryside”.
He was married for 37 years to Sarah Baumstein and they had three sons: Alberto, Fábio and Ricardo who joined his renascence mind and worked by his side in numerous activities...
Moysés heritage still endures...

An intense existence and a consistent search for new challenges were a mere sample of the life of MOYSÉS BAUMSTEIN.

Read more about Moysés at Wikipédia.

Exhibits, Plastic Arts and Holography (an outline):

1966- 1ª Semana Nacional de Artes Plásticas: São Paulo
V Salão Paulista de Arte Moderna: São Paulo.
First individual exposition (Nankeen drawings) at the Galeria Seta in São Paulo
(june, 1966)

1967- X BIENAL – São Paulo, Nankeen drawings and illustrations

1983- First experiences in holography.
1983- Creation of holograms for the plastic artist Sulamita Marenes: São Paulo.

1984- (June/September) – traveling exposition of holograms in Germany sponsored by the Frankfurt Deutches Filmmuseum (invited by Dieter Jung).
1984- (October/December) – “HOLOGRAMS”at the Muse da Image e do Some (MISS), individual expostion with 20 works in the reflection system; São Paulo.
1984- (December) –VII Salão Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Muse de Arte Moderna – Rio de Janeiro.

1985- (October/December) – HOLOGRAMAS DÍPTICO, XVIII BIENAL – São Paulo.

1986- (November/December) – Project Rosso, invited artist for the Fundação Armando Álvares Penteado (FAAP) – São Paulo.
1986- (December/January’87) – TRILUZ at the Muse da Image e do Some (MISS) with Augusto de Campos, Décio Pignatari, Júlio Plaza and José Wagner Garcia; São Paulo.

1987- (April) – HOLOGRAPHIES - individual exposition at the Centro Cultural São Paulo; São Paulo.
1987- (October) – HOLOGRAMS – individual exposition at the Piracicaba Salão de Belas Artes.
1987- Piracicaba/SP (October/December) – TRAMA DO GOSTO – installation at the XIX Bienal de São Paulo with projects from Júlio Plaza, Décio Pignatari and Augusto de Campos.
1987- (November/December)- IDEHOLOGIA – at the Museu de Arte Contemporânea of the University of São Paulo (MAC); São Paulo with holographic projects made by him and by Augusto de Campos, Décio Pignatari, José Wagner Garcia and Júlio Plaza. These collective works led to the inauguration of expositions in other countries.
1987- (December)- IDEHOLOGIA – another individual exposition of Moysés works – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa/Portugal.
Galeria Horizontes in Spain (in addition to the commercialization of a few holograms to be incorporated into private collections in the United States and Italy).

1987/1988- (From December to May) – MISSÕES 300 ANOS – traveling exposition with Holographic Triptic exhibited at the Teatro Nacional de Brasília, Brasília, Parque Lage: Rio de Janeiro: MASP São Paulo, Centro Cultural da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (incorporated to the local collection).

1989- Professor of a Post-Graduation Course in Holography for the University of São Paulo.
1989- (October/November) – Project COSMO, SESC – São Paulo.

1990- (October) Exposition of Holograms at the SESC – São Paulo (behaf the jubilee of the 100th anniversary of the death of the portuguese poet ANTERO DE QUENTAL).

2002 Centre Régional des Lettres de Basse-Normandie na França – holographic poems written by Augusto de Campos and created in holography by Moysés Baumstein, exposed and incorporate by the museum.

2007 Concrete Poetry Exhibit – O Projeto Verbivocovisual, Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo and Palácio das Artes in Belo Horizonte.

Filmography (SUPER-8):

1975 -The Operation/Fiction
- MIAU/Stop motion animation
- Hommo Pollutus/Fiction
- A Trágica, Demoníaca e Asquerosa Face da Verdade/Fiction

1976- O Manuscrito/Fiction
1976- O Asno Coroado/Fiction

1977 - Hipismo/Fiction
- Fotonovela/Fiction
- Nada a Declarar/Fiction
- “Inacabado”/Fiction

1978 - Método Homeopático/Fiction
- A Criação/Stop motion animation
- Pesquisa de Opinião Pública/Fiction

1979 - João e Maria, uma “Cocochanchada” Política/Fiction
- Liberdade, Igualdade, Fraternidade/Fiction

1980 - Ginástica Latina/Stop motion animation

1981 - Em Busca do Ouro/Fiction
- Trilogia Grotesca/Fiction

Videography (he directed more than 40 corporate, institutional and educational videos between 1982 e 1991 mostly for VIDECOM)

1984 - Pesquisa de Opinião Pública II/Fiction

1985 - Capitão da Meia Noite/Videoclip

1986 - A Sopa/Fiction
- A Maldição da Caveira/Fiction

1991 - Trilogia do Último Minuto/Fiction
Special tribute to his work

1992 - Exposition of Holograms and exhibition of Films and Videos at the 9th
Internacional Festival VideoBrasil, SESC, São Paulo

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