Images and words, nights
In the visual arts, from painting to cinema, the night is often taken as a significant element, expressive content for peace angle or as part of the announced tragedies. While I cannot guarantee a representation of the view in the intentional sense, the work of José Brito has ever defended purposes related to that content, the truth is that his recent work brings out the deep shadow a climate like this, between walls, words, collages, black space. Work, in part, pragmatic, based on a critical axis of consistency, it makes itself as drama, but his temper is not due to some romantic content, comparing city location with mist or lunar reference: the photographic side of certain facades , gables, short streets, loses all identity due to the anonymity of the angles and the Kafkaesque closing of all windows. A systematic comparison of his last public appereance, with the earliest production, assures us, in addition to red patches dripping and gestures fractures soon absorbed into the night, give us an account of a journey in openness, contained changes, consistent with the previous inspiration and method.
The materials and the research methodology
José Brito never had enough with the linear learning of plastics. He belongs, moreover, to a generation in which the internalization of expressive effects of painting, for example, were already loaded with things apparently resolved in the twentieth century, time when the man was entertained to dismantle the arts in general, between remains close to the absurd, the most radical of minimalism, abstraction conjuncturally to power at the beginning of the beheading of dogmas, the dismissal of sacred themes. Come to learn to paint by the denial of their ornamental cloths and the warmth of elementary structures in the color attribute, essential bond that emaciated or purified body.
It’s true that José Brito develops research work, deepening the speech inherent in fine arts and in order to give them several theoretical attributes, scientific support, bearing in mind, in more specific terms, the best possible understanding of the significance of poles in the field the visual arts. On the basis of collections, for a split and named estate, naturally are the paints, acrylic mostly, and a vast field of graphic communications clippings, published texts, fragments of a contradictory world, amputation of texts, photographs left newspapers and magazines, or, themselves, by author and subject to a higher content search. Are ductile materials and vulnerable, susceptible to tears, cuts, between juxtaposed ends, voted, by themselves, a pictorial integration than those destroyed at all, before the combining with others in the drift of the signals added to the testimony and the significance of world.
The glues will be based on various fixations, in the ink after covering cohesion screen, among islanders or continents where you can uncover photographic images remains, titles, erasures in newspapers, magazines, posters, billboards, maze completed by urban contexts, Rauschenberg or Warhol suspected, other different but suddenly calls between visits, left to fall evenings, acrylic paint, black, few nuances, involving the entire estate of terraced things or configured by the published representation or retained so the fixity emerging from mooring sparingly, between loose but short gestures, gravitating invisible textures at first glance.
Image and word, nights
Collecting the materials mentioned above corresponds to creative journey and of course marked by choices - as if the author, perhaps the beholder, sailed into a river where several piers allow breaks for rest and raising local estates, outside of any community. The choices José Brito makes, in this sense, are around the word and image, as we have seen. The word is dragged on the clippings from newspapers and magazines, can give the everyday world news, conflicts, crises, history, incidentally along with other testimonies and lots of banal facts, not like the taste, parallel images that dilate the visible and the channel into the realms of art and consumption. The burden of such experiences often extend, qualify, providing those who go on enjoying fruitful paths of creativity, so told to Picasso, in one of its meetings, the painter Juan Gris.
Arranged the sources, manipulated by poetic twinning, between images of Portuguese origin texts, seen in a random or capable way to open spaces of questioning, the photographic record can come forward and backward in an illusory depth, losing and highlighting that painting made mainly of black values, open here and there by burnish succinct, windows veils hits the breeze, larger surfaces, blurring scenography, urban angles that knows what conceal, time certainly silences without characters, abandonment of life, fractures, cracks, impulsive written and then washed without deletion, the night, but because it is hard to come by these bodies and plans to percept them as in the day. When the author tells us in black ink stains, paint-the-china and acrylic, both diluted in the name of transparency that allows you to calculate the visible upstream travel in plongé (remember the beautiful traveling from Tarkovsky in Stalker) and reach far into the night to the promontory where it rests and there was dripping water, perhaps the lapping voices of yesterday behind closed windows, disguised brick houses with mortar and white paint. Thus we see, beyond the aesthetic play, many notes of the sensible things slowly passing before our eyes, the translucency that warn us of submerged objects, memory and experience built under the imperatives of reason (also made of emotions).
As an observer of this work, and all that it hides from living perception, I still think that all research of Brito, until the structure of static stoppings sounded out in the shade, tells us of lost cities, distant from current remains and dehumanised , a seepage of dirty posters and absurd texts, blurred images of yesterday or the future, always under the great cover of night, despite clarities that seem to show more decay than rebuilding.
Rocha de Sousa,
in JL, Jornal de Letras, Artes e Ideias,
Nº 1018, de
07 a 20 de Outubro de 2009,
pág. 32 e 33