Pedro Neves presents an exhibition at the Portas Vilaseca gallery

Pedro Neves paints 11 canvases inspired by aesthetic references from Minas Gerais popular culture and seeks to restore connection with his ancestry

Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca

The Boi da Manta parade is a more traditional pre-carnival party in the city of Pedro Leopoldo, in Minas Gerais. At the beginning of the year, the entire population of the region embodies the ox (protagonist of the party!) who usually wears a calico garment – since its origins, in 1919, the procession has been linked to the region's weaving market and local taste. 

The feast of the ox, it is worth noting, is a cultural manifestation that keeps alive and rescues the Bantu African spiritual aesthetics in Brazil, bringing together history and fun in the streets. It is, therefore, a custom whose force goes beyond the carnival, representing an important meeting of African and Amerindian ancestral references in Brazil. 

Carapuça, Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Carapuça, Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca
Carapuça, Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Carapuça, Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca

The artist Pedro Neves uses this aesthetic tradition, elements of Minas Gerais popular culture and clothing patterns present there to create 11 paintings on display, until April 20, at the gallery Vilaseca Gates in Rio de Janeiro. tripe, the name chosen by the artist for his first solo show in the space, is the dancer who wears the cheetah mask and lends his body to the ox.  

The creative process and the choices are affective: Pedro's great-grandfather used to buy straw to make the hats he wore, but he also had more materially structured hats. From this memory, the concept of “straw and dough” was born, present in the canvases. The two paintings that open the exhibition are possible portraits of the great-grandfather that the artist knew little about – revealing a desire to ancestral reconnection – emphasize the sensitivity of the “straw”, while the following paintings bring the idea of “mass” by presenting more weight and body. notice in Loneliness, where women dance with ghostly figures; is on A hand's breadth, painting of a figure involved (or attacked) also by hauntings – both point to physical and psychological violence experienced daily by black people. On the third floor, we see the blue works linked to man's desire to reconnect with nature and, once again, with his ancestry.

Solidão, de Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Solitude, by Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca

In this context, the artist developed works “of straw and dough” that represent not only popular cultures, but also raise important questions about the wounds of the colonization of Brazil; about the role of women in this society and in the family; and, about the preservation of black and indigenous culture in popular culture – which is still a form of resistance. The idea is not to dictate answers, but to point to new understandings of territory and identity, either through dance and songs or through reencounter with nature.

Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca
Mata, de Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
Mata, by Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca
A um palmo, de Pedro Neves, na Portas Vilaseca
A stone's throw away, by Pedro Neves, at Portas Vilaseca

Guts 

Date: until April 20 

Location: Portas Vilaseca gallery 

Address: Rua Dona Mariana, 137, house 2 – Botafogo / Rio de Janeiro

Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday (11:00 am to 7:00 pm); on Saturdays (11:00 am to 5:00 pm)

Admission: free

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