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01/16/14 Marcelo Krasilcic on four images from his “1990s” book

Though a long ways from the free-spirited ‘60s, the ‘90s was a decade of personal liberation for Marcelo Krasilcic. In 1990, the São Paulo native arrived in New York, raring to set out on a journey of the self but unsure which path he’d take. At NYU, he met a school lecturer whose tarot reading told him what was in the cards: photography as a means to work out his issues.

So began a decade where the young Brazilian documented his life, compensating for what it lacked through his lens. Released in 2013, Krasilcic’s two-volume photo publication 1990s is a hyper-intimate archive of friends, family, lovers, and the two cats in his Lower East Side apartment.

Krasilcic captured a subject in a casual or brazen stance and made it look almost sacred—a style that led to regular gigs for Dazed & Confused, Purple, and Visionaire, and portraits that include Chloë Sevigny, Willem Dafoe, and an era-defining album cover for Everything but the Girl.

Through raw, illuminated photos borne from self-discovery, viewers are nudged from their comfort zone and are themselves liberated.