In accelerated times and shallow connections, the artist Rebecca Sharp (São Paulo, 1976) invites us to take an inner dive. Chosen by the Sé gallery as a representative of her first participation in Frieze NY this year, the artist presents 19 original works that bring our Brazilianness to the United States, from everyday or casual themes such as a morning stop at the bakery to eat bread on the plate, to environmental issues that involve discussions about the future of the Amazon – all in a language surrealist – style, by the way, quite “in vogue” for being the theme chosen by Venice Biennale from 2022
Inspired by American artists of the 50s and 60s, such as Jackson Pollock and Basquiat that used large canvases, Sharp began to paint at the age of 18. through painting abstract, the artist sought ever larger supports, to the point that one day she wanted to hang a canvas on a tennis court and paint with a broom.
But it was when she bought a small canvas that something unusual happened, she got involved with the process in such a way that she took her work home from the studio and continued to pore over it into the night. The support change made perfect sense for his new language, now more figurative. According to the artist, the change occurred in line with the greater intimacy she acquired with the brush. That's how she understood that an average of 30×30 cm was enough to condense all emotions and convey the message she wanted. It is also worth noting that the same small supports that instigated the artist to delve into her creative process invite viewers to approach and dedicate an almost meditative time to the work.
Her insertion in the art market became key when, in 2018, Sofia Borges invited her to participate in the 33rd edition of the São Paulo Biennial, Affective Affinities. Nowadays, Sharp's style is also a reflection of the surreal times we live in – the era of the absurd where different realities collide – and the artist's works enter into this context by proposing self-knowledge.
That is, at the same time that his iconographies bring surrealist characteristics, his themes are very much based on reality or on the quest to discover it. Maria Monteiro, director and founder of the Sé gallery, comments on the choice of representation at the fair in New York: “Female surrealist painting is one of the great themes of this year, see the Venice Biennale, based on the work of Leonora Carrington. The choice to bring a woman was also decisive.”
Rebecca also comments: “The artist is like a courier, he is halfway between what is completely invisible and the world of people, the world that we see, hear and feel. And, deep down, everyone does it, not just artists. We live between the mystery of what we are and the world that we think knows what it wants.”