Sebastião Rodrigues©The Amazon, land of waters, high and low tides, rivers, lakes, and ever so quiet brooks that reflect the sky on their mirror-like surface. Crowned by the tropical sun and softly blown by warm breezes, the wilderness enthrones the beauty and mystery of its legends. The caboclo1 glides over the river bed engaging in the dialog of survival with its prodigal waters.

    In this riverside scene lies Costa do Pesqueiro, on the banks of the Solimões River and its still water inlets. I was born there, hosted by the forest sounds and undisturbed starry sky. In my very early years, art came forth and was revealed through yet rough drawings on the dirt washed by constant rainfall, as well as through early modeling attempts with the viscous tabatinga2 collected from the sandbanks. The initial resources were converted into everyday scenes that came spontaneously into being. A new world emerged with an expressive potential of its own; the monotonous life of those surroundings jazzed up within new perspectives.

    After the initial years there, my family migrated to the city of Manaus, where I was given accurate guidance by local tutors and the necessary initiation in the materials relevant for the development of artistic work. But my fidgety nature was such that it brought me to the city of Rio de Janeiro, where my wife and I finally settled.

    1985 was a year of effervescence, full-fledged in the field of visual arts, fertile grounds for the germination of creative resources.

    From then on, I have been doing an obstinate work, experimenting with various techniques and materials, driven by the libertarian movement of contemporaneity. Observation has been a precious instrument that established a safe laboratory where the inexhaustible vehicle of painting has thrived with new ideas.

    Overwhelmed by creative compulsion, I act in this permissible realm, investigating the instinct of color and the constant opposition between transparency and opacity; I create successive layers through priming, relying on clipped paper that retains the paints and transfers them to the support base, producing plots and folds that insinuate suggestive textures.

    The shapes, heart and embryo generated from continuous interventions, impose an order to the initial chaos, naming expressive values. Converted into that impulse to impregnate the work, potential materials—such as coal, pigments, glues and resins—make their way in. I paint, I wash and I dry; I construct and I deconstruct; it is all level, it is all fabric, it is all canvas; from the floor to the window, it is all art.

Sebastião Rodrigues

1. Brazilian half-breed (of white and aboriginal people)
2. Sedimentary variety of clay; its name derives from the Tupi, an aboriginal language, meaning white clay.