Tag Archives: Cildo Meireles

Redrawing Brazil

Some say that the true great artist is the one who can capture the essence of his/her time. I tend to agree with that idea.

Translating the Zeitgeist is not an easy task nor is it obvious for the most part, so what guided me in choosing my list of most representative contemporary artists from Brazil was my sheer feeling. Without further ado, here’s my Top 5:

1. Cildo Meireles. His choice and use of materials, creating layers, barriers and magically simple visual goals make him not only a very talented but also an expert in translating our current needs for empty novelty.

Fontes (1992)

2. Ernesto Neto. His glue-y, at first somewhat disgusting shapes and art pieces challenge our notions of aesthetics. Art can be bent and it can feel nice and comfortable after you get past the first shock. Ernesto is as clever as his is subtle.

Navedenga (1998)

3. Adriana Varejão. This outstanding painter and sculptor does something quite revolutionary for Brazilian standards: look into our own art history. Culturally dominant and salient Portuguese tiles are turned into enormous open wounds that help communicate how violent and forced the colonization was. Yet if one knows how to use it, the past can be used to enrich perspectives for the future.

Ruína de charque (2000)

4. Tunga. A virtuoso in the choice and treatment of hard materials, Tunga has always been able to create extreme and delicate beauty out of seemingly sterile matter. His work can be seen as an exploration of the interconnections between elements, shapes and ideas, always gracefully exposed in their contrast.

Laminated Souls (2004-2007)

5. Rivane Neuenschwander. trespassing the boundaries of the individual arts, Rivane uses simple and mostly tiny materials to construct a wider view of the abstract world we live in. Wishes, dreams, home, journeys, discoveries and interaction are always part of the artist’s work.

Continent/Cloud (2007)

Luckily for all of us, there is a place where you can see pieces from all of these artists, the one and only (and the very best of its kind in my opinion) Inhotim Museum of Contemporary Art.

Angst in the arts

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.

"Através", by Cildo Meireles

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.