Insertion in Art

In the biography, it was said that my paintings can be classified as impressionist with expressionist touches. In fact, this is an simplified way to situate them in the context of art. Let me present here a more refined way to insert my work in an art movement which has existed (or could have existed).

The search for innovations and break-ups are not peculiar attitudes related to the present art (which is called Contemporaneous and was Modern Art some time ago). This kind of attitude was aways present in the History of Art. In order to just give an example, we mention that people talk about the art after and before Giotto, that played the main role in the break with the Byzantine Art (this occured in the beginning of 14th century). Giotto discovered the way of creating the sensation of depth in a plane surface. He had antecipated the ideas of perspective under mathematical rules, which was introduced some time later. This caused a great revolution in the way of painting.

The important point I would like to emphasize is that the evolution of painting (and art in a general way) has always been related not only to the technique, but to scientific and technological discoveries also. So, besides the perspective, it also comes to the artist the using of oil into stretched canvas (the most used way in the Renascence), the incorporation of new pigments in his palette and, consequently, the increasing option for the number of colors.

Following this line of reasoning, there has never been a period with so many happenings, able to influenciate the History of Art, as in the middle of 19th century. First, we remember the invention of photography and that its use soon became so much popular. Without doubt, the advent of photography caused a great impact in the drawing and painting, which were, till that time, the only way of perpetuating an image. There were painters that proclamed the end of painting (it is interesting to note that the end of something is not inherent in the artistic movements of our days). The Impressionism emerged at this time.

In order to better situate my art in some of the artistic movements, let me discuss a little more on the Impressionism.

I think important to mention that the Impressionism did not emerge just as a reaction to the advent of photography. There already were two current of ideas at that time, polarized in two great artists, Ingres and Delacroix. The former defended the form and the precise line of drawing (Neoclassicism). In fact, this procedure was the core of all artistic movement till that time. Colors could not play the more important role. Delacroix had an opposite position, colors should do it (Romantism).

That was also the time of the industrial revolution. Some people say that without it, Impressionism could have not happened. The chemical industry was able to produce new pigments, i.e., colors incorporated new actors in the art scenario. So, Impressionism put colors to play the main role. They went in an audacious way beyond the drawing lines, which became not so rigid anymore. There then emerged a more free way of painting. The landscape theme became important, as well as the plein air painting. The chemical industry was able to produce the oil tubes. This facilitated so much this practice. The direct observation of colors in nature led to new mixings (this shows us the importance of new vibrant pigments that the chemical industry had been able to produce later).

It is also opportune to remember that this was the time of great developments in Optics. First, in the electromagnetic theory, in the work of Maxwell. It was also due to Maxwell the idea that we had three kind of sensors in retina. Later on, Chevreul introduced the concept of complementary colors, where it was then explained why a color become more vibrant in presence of its complementary (all the retina sensors work). This fact was too much explored not only by impressionists, but also by pos and neo-impressionists. Even the additive mixing of light was tentatively used by Seurat (and others) in a procedure that became known as Pontillism.

As that time was an epoch of so many changes, there was also emerged so many ways to be followed. The way chosen by the artists was based on the idea that it was always important to do something different. It is registered that Paul Gauguin said to Van Gogh that he had actually achieved a different manner of painting after the Impressionism. However, in general, people did not worry with the results of changing. With this kind of reasoning, we have arrived to our days. I am not saying if this was right or wrong (in fact, I am not feel competent for such judgment). Today, as Ferreira Gullar (a Brazilian writer) said, we negate everything without putting something in place. This led to a vaccum of ideas. There is no more places to go. So, as also said another Brazilian writer, Affonso Romano de Sant'Anna, it is necessary to go back and look for new ways for the art.

After the Impressionism, I think that painting actually started to follow a different way. There are many paintings in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, belonging to the beginning of 20th century, which display classical values, but also showing the importance of colors and all the beautiful ideas of the Impressionism. We can also mention that Degas, an admirator of the Ingres drawing, did not deny the modernity of his time. He adopted the photography as an auxiliary way of painting (as did Delacroix) and developed his well known ballerinas works. The 20th century was replete of a countless number of new organic transparent pigments and with a great power of dyeing. We now have the azos, quinacridones, phthalos, dioxazine, DPP and many others. Except the Expressionists, which consciously used some pigments of the quinacridone family, all the others artistic movements did not consider them. Nowadays these pigments are everywhere, but with fantasy names (many of them with names of pigments that do not exist anymore). People actually do not know about the importance of these modern pigments and what they could do for the painting.

There is also another important aspect, introduced by the impressionist paintings, which was lost along the 20th century. An impressionist painting only displays part of the informations to be captured by the eyes (in contrary to the photography that displays all). I find this so much important because it was precisely this point that avoided the omen of the painting death after the advent of photography. It is not necessary to resort to a technically complicated painting to show this. Let us consider a rose, yes, a simple rose. It is evident all its beautiful dozens of petals. In an impressionist painting, it is not necessary to make all of them. One or two should be enough. Our mind naturaly will "see" the others. This kind of painting has this aura. An impressionist paint is not seen, or interpreted, in the same way by two different persons. It is obvious that the same occurs with all kind of paintings, but not with the same intensity of the impressionist ones. Going a little deeper, one may also say that an impressionist paint does not remain the same for the same person forever. It changes according the natural changes of his life. This fact, which does not have a counterpart in the photography, separates these two activities of art (photography is also a kind of art) and it finishes here the competition between them. I myself consider this as the most important characteristic of the Impressionism.

It is precisely starting from this point where I try to insert my art work. That is, I go back to the begining of the 20th century and follow this kind of painting, but incorporating all the modernity of the 20th and 21th centuries. I did a wide study of new pigments and I know how to explore them. My pallete is almost all formed with organic pigments, whose main characteristics are transparency and higher dyeing (this would be a dream for any impressionists). I do not necessary use the same pigments all the time, but change according the theme. I prepare the canvas surface by myself and also use the modernity offered by the chemical industry (a thing with no couterpart in the impressionist time). Finaly, I also make use of the digital world to simulate colors, forms and compositions.

It might be that someone argue about the old-fashioned aspect of my work because I am going too far to situate it (begining of 20th century). First, I do not see this as a problem. If we are looking for a good quality we have to go where it stopped. Second, the famous ready-made by Duchamp, which are reference to the contemporaneuous art, date back almost the same time.

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