domingo, 18 de agosto de 2019

José Brito, técnica mista s/tela, 116 x 89 cm, 1994

sexta-feira, 8 de março de 2019

José Brito, técnica mista sobre tela, 2015

terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2019

José Brito, 2016, técnica mista sobre tela, 97 x 130 cm

domingo, 6 de janeiro de 2019

José Brito, 2016, técnica mista sobre tela, 97 x 130 cm 

To see in the dark
The nocturnal work of José Brito is the spirit of the world of men. An x-ray to the multiple soul of humanity. I say nocturnal because it is made of that black covering the news of the days, as the occlusion of all information, of all knowledge, which also seems to raise the need to rehabilitate the world every dawn, what demands allowing the past but to urge in the present and for the future. And I say nocturnal because the days all end in nights. When we see the human work on the canvases of José Brito we are summoned to think about the decline, a sinking of all matters in the forgetting phantasmagoria of darkness. But it is true that all darkness presupposes light and, therefore, regeneration.
What moves me is the suggestion of a truculent subjection of matter to the absence of light. The black, as an absence of colour but also as too much colour, poured over the textures and their images as a mesh that imprisons. We think we see the, only seemingly casual, railing of a prison. The painting clenches, hides, subjugates. What we are is under the definite opacity of that ink. Waiting for it to dissipate, as it happens with nights, is a fallacy. What José Brito does problematizes the regeneration, but his art is peremptory and structural, when it acts it almost touches punishment.
By the truculence, there is a land side in José Brito's canvases. His images are always places and what you see gains reminiscences of buildings and notes of its complex engineering. The newspapers that he often uses as a fundamental element, serve as a strange map, as if we see things from above, already transformed into a simplified geometry, where outlines and sharp differences are accentuated, and the infinite details are summed up. The ruthless pouring of black ink creates the effect of a giant body that overlaps the map and, therefore, the suggested constructions. Punishing, indeed, the world unable to meticulously show its fright, the fright is the promise of oblivion. A complete annulment of those who have learned, felt, dreamed, gained or lost something.
What often happens, right away from the drift with which the colour is placed, goes through the creation of a strange calligraphic effect. With a broad gesture, effectively with the air of a giant, it also creates the idea that something is written. The canvas is an unusual sheet in which language invents its own signs. We cannot verbalize unequivocally, but we can always propose a reading. Near the walls of protest, alluding to the layers of continuous posters glued to announce all subjects, the work of José Brito discusses the dirty. What can be plastically balanced, or plasticity of the dirty, that is to say of chance.
The suggestion of chance is a search for the limits of art. It is important to know the difference between the intentional image and the one that comes from the spontaneous performance of people imbued with preoccupations external to art. In a certain sense, as far as the intervention in the public walls is concerned, the distribution of posters or graffiti with all sorts of incursions passes, above all, by an ethics of the public space whose aesthetics will be secondary or absolutely despised. For the work of a plastic artist, what stands out is the need to endow an ethic with an aesthetic purpose. That is, the dirty cannot be banal. Its use, on the ever so sacralising canvas, will imply an edition, a cut, a fiction that no longer allows us to speak of the real walls but of a mnemonic process and of recognition by imitation or similarity.
The question of memory, in these complex maps, is not obstructed, is crucial. Whether art should clarify or simply enunciate is one of the issues. What José Brito does, does not properly clarify. He enunciates the issues and, typical of what you see in the dark, each one deals with its own ghosts. In last case, art can only be so.
I have been living with a José Brito’s canvas for many years. A work created in honour of the victims of the Twin Towers in which we sense two symmetrical columns. The black ink creates a straight-jacket, a thick iron net that encloses the image beyond what we can pass. Observing from the free spaces, we are outsiders to our own world. We watch helplessly. We are not called to the history of humanity. We just pass by as unimportant witnesses to our own lives. The case of the Twin Towers is perfect for the vigilant thought of José Brito. There is a conspiracy underlying the simple idea of society. To demystify it is the goal of the lucid ones. Artists are not inexplicable ostriches. Sometimes artists are hyalines immersed in a universe of entropy. This is José Brito. With his deep darkness he finally makes light.
Valter Hugo Mãe

sexta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2018

José Brito, técnica mista sobre tela, 97 x 130 cm, 2016