Part of my work had been influenced by my staying in Brazil and the Brazilian cultural movement of the 60s known as Tropicália. It is a movement contemporary to the beatnik generation in America and Europe and what it has interested me about such movement i=was the integration of “modern” themes with Brazilian folk and tradition, re-inventing folk artistic expressions previously considered naff and re-presenting them as integral part of the cultural background of the country.
I did what Tropicália has done at the time. I digested the elements offered and made them part of me. I used such themes as food for my artistic formation and used them as fuel for my artistic production.
The influences of a tropical surrounding
After having start my artistic career strictly in monochrome, using ink on paper for a series of erotic drawing, and developing from that to the use of gloomy colours, I went to the NorthEast of Brazil. Soon after my arrival in Pipa, this small surfers village near Natal, it was unavoidable for my palet to be heavily affected by the environment. In the tropics, light has a blinding quality when the sun is up, bleaching everything toward a sandy white, but, under the first shocking moment of intense brightness, underneath one can perceive the presence of vibrant, intense colours clashing with each other. The most unthinkable juxtaposition of shades are ordinary in the tropics. Sweat, intense smells impregnate the air intoxicating as much as the colours. Sometime so reach that one can sense the imminent on-setting of decomposition. It is inebriating to the point of nausea. The heat is humid and intense, uncomfortable when you arrive from Europe. I was very nervous, afraid not to be able to adapt. Then I went to the beach. Everything made sense then. The heat no longer bothered me. The colours were in harmony, the smells became perfumes. If heaven in on earth, it must be there.
Boto Cor de Rosa - Size A4 - oil on canvas. This is a character belonging to the Brazilian folklore, he is some kind of urban legend. A shape changing sea creature that can change his body from a dolphin e into a handsome man.The legend wants him an irresistible womaniser. Women cannot resist his charm, even the most virtuous have no chance to resist his seduction. My own Boto, however, is an unapologetic homosexual to whom men say yes. Like the old Neapolitan proverb says:-Pussy is liked by men, but cock is liked by everybody