from conversations with Edu Silva 

 

The so-called non-places, for Marc Augé, are like a passing-space, unable to shape any kind of identity. Edu Silva is a painter of skins; paintings, writings of color-layers and intervals-between-thelines.

 

Painting-flesh-bone-viscera!

 

Brown, they say it’s a color. Color of skin. It doesn’t exist in the color scale, but in the fleshy-paintings of Edu Silva. In the paintings in which LIFE pulses. Abounds. In the excavated paintings composed of material forms of art and life. With no concession.

 

Edu, since his first works, has been debating with other Latin-American artists such as Torres García; he develops a thinly labored structure, because it is embodied between what is said and what is not said, the non-place. The chromaticism of Armando Reverón blurs tones and colors, palettes and polychromy, landscapes and “surrealisms”, situations in-between. Artists from Latin America and their boldness anticipated the art “movements” from Europe and the United States.

“Brown is a term used by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute) to name one of the five groups of ‘color and race’ that compose the Brazilian population: white, black, yellow, and indigenous”. Brown is the color os mestizos. As if we weren’t all, in the world, of mixed races. Each one of us is many different ethnicities. I disagree with this “browning”. It is excluding. It negates ignited lives.

 

Edu takes on and paints brown-fleshes, investigates this place of added color among vigorous brown paints and materials.

 

Edu draws minimal lights among color contrasts, drawn lines and sculptural lines, on the edge, with different chromaticism approaches. Distances that are inter-penetrated, in unison. Edu doesn’t oppose, he encompasses, sustaining a luminous color that is realized and catches our attention. His paintings overflow, contaminate, vibrate.

 

Color, in Edu Silva’s work, exists in gerund: paintings that are happening!

Lucimar Bello. 07.02.2020  

 

Tradução: Julia Lima

from conversations with Edu Silva 

 

The so-called non-places, for Marc Augé, are like a passing-space, unable to shape any kind of identity. Edu Silva is a painter of skins; paintings, writings of color-layers and intervals-between-thelines.

 

Painting-flesh-bone-viscera!

 

Brown, they say it’s a color. Color of skin. It doesn’t exist in the color scale, but in the fleshy-paintings of Edu Silva. In the paintings in which LIFE pulses. Abounds. In the excavated paintings composed of material forms of art and life. With no concession.

 

Edu, since his first works, has been debating with other Latin-American artists such as Torres García; he develops a thinly labored structure, because it is embodied between what is said and what is not said, the non-place. The chromaticism of Armando Reverón blurs tones and colors, palettes and polychromy, landscapes and “surrealisms”, situations in-between. Artists from Latin America and their boldness anticipated the art “movements” from Europe and the United States.

“Brown is a term used by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute) to name one of the five groups of ‘color and race’ that compose the Brazilian population: white, black, yellow, and indigenous”. Brown is the color os mestizos. As if we weren’t all, in the world, of mixed races. Each one of us is many different ethnicities. I disagree with this “browning”. It is excluding. It negates ignited lives.

 

Edu takes on and paints brown-fleshes, investigates this place of added color among vigorous brown paints and materials.

 

Edu draws minimal lights among color contrasts, drawn lines and sculptural lines, on the edge, with different chromaticism approaches. Distances that are inter-penetrated, in unison. Edu doesn’t oppose, he encompasses, sustaining a luminous color that is realized and catches our attention. His paintings overflow, contaminate, vibrate.

 

Color, in Edu Silva’s work, exists in gerund: paintings that are happening!

Lucimar Bello. 07.02.2020  

 

Tradução: Julia Lima

from conversations with Edu Silva 

 

The so-called non-places, for Marc Augé, are like a passing-space, unable to shape any kind of identity. Edu Silva is a painter of skins; paintings, writings of color-layers and intervals-between-thelines.

 

Painting-flesh-bone-viscera!

 

Brown, they say it’s a color. Color of skin. It doesn’t exist in the color scale, but in the fleshy-paintings of Edu Silva. In the paintings in which LIFE pulses. Abounds. In the excavated paintings composed of material forms of art and life. With no concession.

 

Edu, since his first works, has been debating with other Latin-American artists such as Torres García; he develops a thinly labored structure, because it is embodied between what is said and what is not said, the non-place. The chromaticism of Armando Reverón blurs tones and colors, palettes and polychromy, landscapes and “surrealisms”, situations in-between. Artists from Latin America and their boldness anticipated the art “movements” from Europe and the United States.

“Brown is a term used by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute) to name one of the five groups of ‘color and race’ that compose the Brazilian population: white, black, yellow, and indigenous”. Brown is the color os mestizos. As if we weren’t all, in the world, of mixed races. Each one of us is many different ethnicities. I disagree with this “browning”. It is excluding. It negates ignited lives.

 

Edu takes on and paints brown-fleshes, investigates this place of added color among vigorous brown paints and materials.

 

Edu draws minimal lights among color contrasts, drawn lines and sculptural lines, on the edge, with different chromaticism approaches. Distances that are inter-penetrated, in unison. Edu doesn’t oppose, he encompasses, sustaining a luminous color that is realized and catches our attention. His paintings overflow, contaminate, vibrate.

 

Color, in Edu Silva’s work, exists in gerund: paintings that are happening!

Lucimar Bello. 07.02.2020  

 

Tradução: Julia Lima

edu Silva: the mestizo archipelago

 

It is very important that, in these pictorial experiments about miscegenation, Edu Silva has abandoned any thematic or ideological mention: what matters ate the chromatic masses, large or small, deeply decorative, that come close together and fit into one another, showing the seams through contrasts or small threads and tiny stitchings, molecules that mark the transition from one to another. These stitches or interweaved knots are deeply valuable here, as gestures of embroidery that connects different things. We are now far away from the trivial, rushed and “modern” use of the term “hybrid”.

 

What is interesting is the conjunction (not what or who is with) as a mobile hinge that is in course and expanding, an incomplete and infinite metamorphosis of shapes and materials. This is a matter of educating the eyes to see “what binds pearls together”, as the African-Arabic poets and musicians sang. Plays between shape and light have been in the relations between culture and nature far before subjectivities.


Therefore, by abandoning the duality of oppositions, Edu give preference to the most varied and asymmetrical fields of relation and to the internal constructive processes (that are always composed of particles of many different things).

He thus gives continuity to the discontinuous. Painted collections/shapes, in a fabulously elaborate color range, are syntactically intersected through cuts and twisting and winding chamfers, as if they have been harvested from a telluric and tectonic magma in the rhythm of re-accommodating seismic quakes. Painting, sculpture, architecture in color dances.

 

Mixed shapes are in the earthy and rocky foundation of things. Hence the merges and sutures leaving the geological protrusions made of bumps and mounds always live and in sight, with their callous chafing exposing the interactions among the differences and paradoxes between large and small, tall and short, front and back, in and out: all these tasks for creating a panorama of ludic-mestizo and current-native knowledge outside of all domestications of official history, ancient or modern (whichever side the domestication comes from).

 

This is a celebration of embedded otherness. That which in the baroque movement is called the disparate list, due to the inclusion of unequal and abandoned repertoires, is translated by Edu Silva as the mestizo archipelago. But beware: it seems that new ravines, islands and reefs are always going to arise and recompose the landscape, neighborhoods, bodies, and life.

 

Amálio Pinheiro 

Tradução: Julia Lima

Edu Silva and the Artistic Processes for Building Sensations 

The artworks built by artist Edu Silva are the result of his research processes that stem from social and racial issues. Simultaneously, his compositions are projected and diluted into artistic manifestos, founded and structured on practices that resulted from his individual experiences with exclusive, innovative techniques that are updated by contemporary reality.

The works from the series Estudo sobre mestiçagem reverberate this combination of experience/reference/construction. These associations become evident from the abstract composition in color fields constructed with acrylic paint on canvas. Irregular monochromatic areas alternately challenge shaded spaces, in which the cartography that results from these tensioned borders strengthens and validates the artist’s convictions in the reality that reaches and surrounds him.

Thus, the controversies regarding the juxtaposition of layers forecast projective displacements between chaos and emptiness, among fissures and sensorial completeness, with edited frames in each work and in their original conception. Silva’s creative processes are anchored – but not limited to – his life in the suburbs of Embu das Artes, São Paulo, Brazil, and its inherent social class conflicts.

For Edu Silva, the representation of these subjects is part of his artistic research: cartographic raptures and the chromaticism of visual manifestos converge expressions of resistance and declare the artist’s desire to be part of a world without distinctions of color, race, gender and, especially, his respect towards diversity.

In the Autorretrato series, the chromatic format is diluted in the literal relation between segregation and miscigenation, in the artist’s experience with the other.

This manifestation becomes evident in the three-dimensional markings in the diagonal lines that delineate without direction the irregular structured pictorial layers. While simultaneously suggesting signs of breaking away from topographic landscape views, he also transgresses his artistic production as a catalyst for construction processes and discussions around contemporary aesthetics. 

These works were exhibited for the first time in the collective show “Pintura Expandida”, held at Galeria Virgílio in 2018. The curatorial essay indicated that the projection and transgression of these compositions derived from heavily authorial processual interstices: that feeling which, according to philosopher Gilles Deleuze, is in the body, not in the air. 

 

the feeling is what is painted. What is painted on the picture is the body, not as what is represented, but as something lived as experimenting certain sensations1. 

 

The addition and balance in the same dimension of bodies are euphemistically inserted into these spaces, in tensioned intervals - the contemporary artistic agents. Thus, the artist’s desire to capture and project forces, not to reproduce or invent shapes, is revealed, becoming visible in the essence of Paul Klee. 

 

Andrés I. M. Hernández
Curator and professor. São Paulo, summer 2018 

 

1 See DELEUZE, Gilles. Francis Bacon: Lógica da sensação. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Jorge Zahar, 2007 

Tradução: Julia Lima

About difficult things

 

Developing an artistic work doesn’t come instantly or linearly. If we look at this process as thoughts that systematized individually by the artist, gaining material or immaterial form, we may have a better understanding of the artwork. Some artists, working in various mediums, make their work more complex or “difficult” though apparently incomprehensible or less assimilable aspects and characteristics. There are two ways to perceive this issue: on one hand, this “difficulty” could be a strategy with different implications; on the other, it is less an option and more of a necessity – the artist may be searching for something but not know what it is yet. 

 

Edu Silva’s recent paintings are difficult, especially if compared to his previous series, in which the representation of collective spaces (the neighborhood, houses) was somewhat figurative, with a graphic feel that reminds us of graffiti. Evidently, this made his pieces more accessible, “easier” to understand. Nonetheless, as stated before, taking a more difficult route wan’t an option, but a necessary consequence of the immaterial textile on which he mixed his paints: the fabric of social reality itself and the spaces in which this reality is organized and realized. What validates his quest is the honesty with which he paints – even though this doesn’t guarantee him anything, especially 1in a time when the word honesty is so worn out. These immaterial, or non-formal, aspects could have been more easily assimilated had his work succumbed to a pamphleteering stand that is so commonly seen nowadays. But Edu Silva chose a different path.

The combination os the immaterial elements and formal aspects that the artist articulates aesthetically is anchored in modern art – however, it is an extremely contemporary game between materiality and immateriality. It is not about what’s in, but about a restlessness regarding our time. This “game”, or negotiation, takes place in different simultaneous stages: space is the foundation for the other two “teams” that play in opposite fields. On one side, the material space of the canvas; on the other, the real urban space of the suburbs transformed into an immaterial dimension through his subjective perspective and its resulting constructive abstraction. Most of his canvases are square-shaped, as if a regular frame could have the ability to equalize the tensions that occupy it. It is almost as if the peripheries contained in distant chunks of color appeased social tensions. I feel that a lot of the tightness in these works comes from the artist’s self-imposed need to contain the paint in the square. 

Once we established the field where these forces act, the next stage is comprised by colors. Here, Edu Silva will treat racial and segregation issues that afflict him in an unusual manner, in which thinking about consists of a surprising natural intellectual formulation (and thus so fortunate in its execution). By naming this series Estudos sobre Mestiçagem (Studies about miscegenation), he reveals the central point of his research, but doesn’t rely on it in a pamphleteering way. He breaks away from the usual or simpler route of using a “human” palette (in the artist’s own words) to create obvious representations of this theme. 2

Edu is free to develop a color scheme that strives for complex harmonies through a spatial organization that plays with predominant colors, usually in two shades, which cover a large area of the canvas – and, in some of his pieces, the edges are “stained”. Between these color fields arise clefts and gaps in different colors that emerge and become visible emphasizing the smaller areas. These beautiful and conflicting hues coexist, their interactions are toughly negotiated along the borders and fissures, as if they forced the mesh of a cohesive fabric that is, in fact, threadbare, covering like a rug that which shall not be exposed. Any similarity with our society is not a mere coincidence. 

The combination of art and politics has always been harmful for the former. By charging art with a function, it is usually reduced, or it loses its power exactly where it was needed most. As the saying goes, art reaches a goal it didn’t have. Defining an objective, a function, is different from 3 having something to produce art with and about. Thus come, for artists like Edu Silva, the uncertainties and anxieties regarding a production that is in constant conflict between making and communicating something. I believe that the series Estudos Sobre Mestiçagem also draws its potency from a need for beauty that Edu persistently seeks. Not the pasteurized or common sense beauty, but the kind of beauty that is disturbing, that makes us think, above all, that makes us calmly look at things and question if there are other possibilities in the coexistence of differences in a common space, provided there is a sincere revelation of what is hidden or concealed. However, let us not be mistaken: this is not an easy task. 

There is a tale in which a philosopher and a priest talked about what beauty was. Their debate lengthened, and the philosopher skillfully demonstrated that beauty could take up many forms, to which the priest replied that it was impossible, for beauty resided in elevated things that were a consensus among most people. Politely, the philosopher showed the priest that he could be mistaken about where beauty resided, but only if we were capable of moving past the doxa (opinion), expanding our understanding through questions, and concluding the conversation with the sentence:

 

“Beauty is a difficult thing” . 4

 

Marcelo Salles

1 Reference to Clement Greenberg in “Crônica de arte”, page 179, Cosac & Naify.

2 Recently, artist Adriana Varejão presented a series of paintings (Polvo Portraits) in which she developed a color palette 2 of “Brazilian skin tones”. Despite being conceptually flawless, the result is quite embarassing.

 

3 This phrase is attributed to Benjamin Constant; in a citation by Jean Philippe Domecq in “Uma Nova Introdução à Arte 3 do Século XX”. 

4 Hippias Major, platonic conversation between Socrates and Hippias Major 

Tradução: Julia Lima