Discovered on Instagram under the pseudonym Sejkko (@sejkko), the Portuguese photographer Manuel Pita immortalizes the isolated houses he meets during his wanderings in Europe, from his country of origin to Croatia via Turkey. Sometimes renovated, sometimes dilapidated, these small colorful houses evoke both the solitude of everyone and the nostalgic memory of Home Sweet Home of his childhood.

After obtaining a doctorate in artificial intelligence and cognitive science at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Manuel Pita began to share his images of amateur photographer on Instagram in 2012. It is only two years later, at the time of the development of the mobile application, that the self-taught photographer professionalizes his practice of the eighth art and stands out on the social network by unveiling his first "Lonely Houses" photographed in Portugal. This allowed him in 2016 to print the limited edition images to exhibit them, then sell them.

The solitary houses of Manuel Pita are first inspired by his personal history. When he captures the first shots in his “Lonely Houses” series, Sejkko turns his photographic practice into therapy. Behind these naive visions of lonely colored dwellings, there are actually existential reflections on his relationship to childhood, his lonely university career and his late retraining. At that time, the image of the isolated house - which later became its trademark - reflected the artist's solitude, memories and moods.

From his therapeutic relationship to photography paradoxically result in colorful and light compositions, which oscillate between a hostile real world and a soothing fictional universe. Manuel Pita always chooses modest, often abandoned houses, and thus reveals the hidden beauty of forgotten dwellings. The series thus accounts for the loneliness experienced in adulthood while building a reassuring imagination conducive to dreams.

Immediately, the photos of Manuel Pita seduce the observer with their worked composition, their soft colors and their licked aesthetics. Narrative, the “Lonely Houses” series invites contemplation and escape.

To learn more, visit Sejkko's website

Photographs: Sejkko

Léa Pagnier

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