Art is everywhere in São Paulo. One thing is for sure: no matter where you go, you will always find it on streets, avenues, walls, or, obviously, art galleries. With so many options, you can be indecisive about where to go: we’re going to take you to five of the best art exhibitions happening here this month.
- MUSEUM OF THE PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE: SONHEI EM PORTUGUÊS!
Communication is our right, language is our gift. All of us deserve to understand and be understood, no matter who we are or where we go. However, it is not always like this, especially when you are a refugee in a completely foreign country. That’s what the Museum of the Portuguese Language exhibition, “Sonhei em Português!” (I had a dream in Portuguese!), happening until June 12th, brilliantly discusses.
Divided into four different spaces, the exhibition includes installations, such as “Travessia” by Leandro Lima — which mimics paddle movements with lightbulbs — or “Alfabetos” by Marcelo Ferraz e Guilherme Tanaka, poems, music from multiple countries, and traditional or regional objects for each country mentioned. In the third room, called “Caixa” (Boxes), the exhibition combines touching video statements from immigrants from different parts of the globe with works of art or objects that refer to the subject spoken in the videos for each box.
The topics go from their loneliness when arriving at a different place, the prejudices that they suffer, and the homesickness to the hope of finding a new beginning, sticking to who they are no matter where they go, their love for Brazil, and, course, their love for the Portuguese language — the key to creating valuable connections and bonds. Jobana Moya Aramayo, from Bolivia, explains her relationship with it: “Somehow, when you learn a language you also learn how to love. […] I think relationships are different when you learn a language. You touch people differently.”
- ABDIAS NASCIMENTO: A PANAMEFRICAN ARTIST (MASP)
Abdias Nascimento was a Brazilian activist, politician, journalist, professor, and multifaceted artist. He was an active member of the Teatro Experimental do Negro (Black People Experimental Theater), working as an actor, director, and playwright. However, MASP’s (Museu de Arte de São Paulo) exhibition focuses mainly on his work with the visual arts, which he started producing right at the peak of the Brazilian dictatorship, in 1968, leading to his exile to the United States.
Alongside the incredible use of bright colors and paintings filled with references from the pan-Africanism and Afro-Brazilian culture, the exposition is broken down into 7 parts: “Afro-Brazilian Theogony”, “Quilombolismo”, “Living Gods”, “Germinal”, “Sankofa”, “Ashe of Blood”, and “Ashe of Hope”. In each section, Abdias Nascimento praises not only black history, from the beginning of the Diaspora until nowadays, but also places the African native religions matrixes at the center of a narrative that has been historically denied.
“Abdias Nascimento: A Panamefrican Artist” presents us with a revolutionary point of view from the perspective of an innovative artist that you cannot miss! The exhibition will be open to the public until June 5th, and every Tuesday entry is free: go see it as soon as you can.
- RAFAEL SILVEIRA: DELIRIOUS CREAM (FAROL SANTANDER)
Opened at the end of March, “Delirious Cream” is a delicious and overjoyed exhibition that introduces us to the exciting universe created by Rafael Silveira, a Brazilian contemporary artist who is heavily influenced by surrealism. Rafael graduated in social communication; however, he started being recognized for his art after creating the cover for Skank’s album “Estandarte”. Since then, the artist has received international awards and even got to be on the cover of the New York Times newspaper.
Farol Santander’s exhibition presents some of the best works done by Silveira during his career until now. Using technology as his ally, he combines oil painting techniques, digital animation, intelligent use of the space, and a personalized sound landscape, created by the sound designer Marcelo Dadalto. Collectively, this combination creates an environment that stimulates creativity and awakens the viewer’s curiosity.
Rafael Silveira uses expressions from reality and transforms them into beautiful and colorful dreams, which go from melting ice cream sculptures to video arts that dance between colors, textures, and a dreamlike reality. “Delicious Cream” — available until August 7th — is a fun exercise for your imagination besides being a charming and photogenic exhibition.
- DAIDO MORIYAMA: A RETROSPECTIVE (INSTITUTO MOREIRA SALLES)
Born in post-war Japan, Daido Moriyama is a well-known artist who revolutionized how we perceive and tell stories in photography nowadays. Moriyama first started as a freelance photographer. Later on, he began his work in Japanese magazines, where his questioning surrounding how the media creates narratives through images took space to bloom. Instituto Moreira Salles presents one of the artist’s biggest exhibitions, including more than two hundred of his works and passages from his life that inspired his production.
Moriyama defends the use of photography as a political mechanism, not only as a way to portray reality as it is; but also to critique it, specifically when this reality is controlled by big media platforms and the mass culture, removing the singularity of the process. Influenced by Andy Warhol, the photographer challenges the world where consumption and profit are the main goals, with a heavy criticism based on the intelligent use of tools, such as high-contrast photographic papers and photocopies.
Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective takes the viewer on a time travel through the extraordinary sixty-year career of one of the most remarkable photographers of our time. It’s gonna be happening until August 14th and you have to see it!
- ADRIANA VAREJÃO: SUTURES, FISSURES, RUINS (PINACOTECA)
Adriana Varejão is one of the most substantial Brazilian names in the contemporary art scenario nowadays, being majorly recognized outside the country, and exhibited in museums all over the world; such as the Metropolitan Museum of Arts (MoMA), in New York, or the Hara Museum, in Tokyo. Her productions started in the late ’80s when she was a student at Parque Lage Visual Arts School in Rio de Janeiro. However, it was only after a life-changing trip she did to Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, that her art began to grow to what we know today, being profoundly touched by the Baroque style.
Pinacoteca presents the most complete retrospective of Varejão’s career until today, reuniting more than sixty pieces from her first productions, in 1985, to the most recent ones in 2022. The viewer is invited to see the growth of a multi-talented artist who expands the spirit of art beyond the canvas. With open cuts and visceral looks, Adriana Varejão shows us the underlying parts of a tiled and made-up story. She uses elements from Baroque, her greatest influence, and from Portuguese culture — Portuguese tiles to denunciate a reality that has been built on top of the bodies of thousands of silenced lives.
Without denying our past as a nation, the artist brilliantly examines the implications of such a brutal past in our present, always exposing the fissures in our history. “Adriana Varejão: Sutures, Fissures, Ruins” is an unmissable and transforming exhibition that is going to be available until August 8th. You should see it!