Part of my work had been influenced by my staying in Brazil and the discovery of the Brazilian cultural movement of the 60s known as Tropicália. It is a movement contemporary to the beatnik generation in America and Europe. It interested me the integration of “modern” themes ( for example, in music, the use of electric guitars) with Brazilian folk and tradition, re-inventing folkloric artistic expressions previously considered naff and embarrassing and re-presenting them as integral part of the cultural background of the country.
David Bowie said that a fly in his milk was a foreign body and as such the fly was getting an awful lot of his milk, making a parallel with his staying in America. David Bowie absorbed elements of soul music, and made them his own. My arrival in Brazil had a similar effect on me. Not that I am comparing myself with David Bowie, I am not that vain, but I felt the rituals, the legends, the colours, the spirits of the lands attaching themselves to me and becoming my experience and, like in the Tropicalia movement, I cannibalised this country tradition, fed on it and made it my own flesh and blood.
The image above is the Boto Corderosa . It is my own interpretation of this water spirit who was constantly evil by the folklore because, while during the day he was a pink dolphin swimming in the Amazons River, at night he took the shape of a handsome black man, wearing white and his interest was to seduce young women and impregnable them with his child. He was irresistible. Women could not refuse themselves to him. My Boto, however is a homosexual Boto. He is irresistible to the men. He doesn’t spread his genes by impregnating virgins, but he offers to the homophobe, chauvinist, bigot male a homosexual experience which has the potential to change his frame of reference.
Boto CordeRosa - oil on canvas 29x39 cm
The green beans peeler - 2/2023 50X40cm Oil on canvas
Price : £ 190
A representation in oil of a theme I already worked on in watercolours. This is one of the paintings that belong to the Brazilian collection. In Pipa, the green beans peeler is a character that may passed unobserved. The very, very poor conditions of some of the categories of Brazilian citizen, force families to become experts in creating parallel economies and in improvising financial activities which demand the smallest possible sum of money as an initial investment. The green beans pealeis are usually the wives of some improvised green grocer, without a shop and without even a car from which to promote his business. Often the man stands on a pavement, with few items to be sold, (the likes of 2 or 3 mangos, 2 or 3 avocados, a few bags of parsley and bags full of the local beans. The wife is recognisable because she sits near by, often shaded by a tree and she shell the beans, throws the empty pod on a small mountain of them and the beans go in a basin; eventually they will be placed in plastic bags and sold by her husband. Last year, I made this caractere infused of a bucolic nobility, a ferral pride which reflected also on her surrounding. She was, in fact, placed in the middle of a lush tropical view. This new version of the same woman, has more anger, more frustration. She is more upset than stoically accepting her fate without any complaint. And her surrounding is not generous and lush. It is dry, grey, unwelcoming
Bossa Nova - 03/2022 Size A3 Oil on paper . Framed
A moreno with the face of a hippie is playing a sweat melody on his old guitar with the sea, the sand and the sunset as his source of inspiration.
Bossa Nove 2
Oil on canvas - Pipa , Brazil 3/2023. Cm 40x60 £ 200. The same subject painted one year after. The guitar player looks less young, strong and sexy; he is thinner, older, dryer. Maybe I will change the title of this painting and call it MPB. Not because MPB singers are uglier, but because, as a music, MPB is more political, less sugary than Bosa Nova
Come! Together we’ll do great! 04/2023 Size A4, Oil on canvas
Two one winged angels find in each other the completion they craved
Menino da Pipa - 2/2023 Oil on canvas Cm 60X50
A male figure walking in a colourful street.
Us - a self-portrait of Nelson and I . 3/2023 Oil on canvas
Picture is not for sale. Belongs to private collector
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.
A lush view