As said before, Rio is all about nature. Not only because of the temperatures, but also because of the breathtakingly beautiful combination of sea, mountains and forest which is so present everywhere in the city.
In every direction you look, there will be something in the city that reminds us of mother nature, even if humanity tries to hide it by erecting such tall and unnecessary buildings.
Interestingly, this importance (ever so present) of nature and its impact on the Cariocas got me thinking about another place I know where people are truly connected to their surroundings: Iceland.
By looking at a selection of works by Icelandic artists, I couldn’t help but notice the need Icelanders have to express themselves using or showing nature.
Hrafnkell Sigurðsson is one of the Nordic contemporary photographers that really caught my attention:
from the Mirrored Landscapes series
The multitalented Ólafur Elíasson is another great example. His use of landscape and the even more famous studies using light is so inextricably connected to Icelandic nature it is impossible to miss the reference.
Lava Floor, by Elíasson
Going back to Brazil, who can ignore the impact use of color has in Brazil’s most important contemporary painter, the carioquíssima Beatriz Milhazes?
Only when one has been to Rio can one understand the source of such colorful influence.
Nature and art.
Some things in life seem so obvious and are so common that we sometimes are forced to believe they are true. Until the day we are faced with a different reality.
When talking about the inspiration for art, be it painting, film or music, many are the ones who believe that its major source is angst. Although I too agree that angst is definitely a factor that helps bring up ideas for art, it is not the only possibility, as I have discussed before.
There are so many pieces of work around the globe which depict sadness, darkness, broken hearts and the rest. So much so that we are led to believe that darker moods dominate the art world. It does not have to be so. There has got to be a manifesto against one single view on arts – one that is mostly negative and angst-filled. There must be other points of view on art production, there shouldn’t be only one dominating the whole scene.
The art of leaving things behind in Através, by Cildo Meireles
Take the work of Beatriz Milhazes, Cildo Meireles‘ or that of Adriana Varejão. These two multitalented artists of Brazilian roots master their art of choice and yet transmit a happier take on life and all types of perception.
An inspiration for those who wish to challenge these dominant views is the contemporary art museum called Inhotim, virtually a paradise for art and life lovers amidst a heavenly botanical garden of delights.
Let us be happier in the world of the arts. Really.
Right this moment, there is a combination in Paris which can mesmerize even the most demanding beauty lover: the Fondation Cartier‘s exhibition on Beatriz Milhazes, the geometrical color-loving painter from Brazil.
The eye-catching expression of joy translated in bright circles and intersections of geometrical figures suits the Jean Nouvel museum just perfectly. The simplicity of the museum’s glass exterior and its gentle take on reflection function like an aquarium for Milhazes’ works: the art is contained yet beautifully shown in a very large scale.
Beatriz is one of the only Brazilian artists working these days who seem to be able to express Brazilianness through a medium that is not music. She has said that she wishes to combine all influence she’s taken in all through her life, be it art from her own country, from Latin America or even Portuguese barroque, and make it her own visual translation of painting. Appropriating multiple influences and transforming them into something new is a very Brazilian characteristic.
Convergingly, Jean Nouvel’s remarkable creations that make us rethink architecture integration are a fresh breeze into the building era’s air. Two of my favorite buildings in Paris (namely the Fondation Cartier building and the Institut du Monde Arabe) integrate so well with their surroundings and yet have a clear identity connected to their purpose that it is just impossible not to appreciate them.
For those who want to delight in color, shape & architecture, this exhibition is the place to be in Paris. It’s on until June 21, so there’s quite some time for you to shun the clichés of Paris and still have a great aesthetic time.