FROM THE MEANS OF EXPRESSION TO THE EXPRESSION ON THE MEDIA

Sebastião Rodrigues breaks away with traditional painting supports. Instead of using conventional quadrilaterals, he molds his works of art in rhythmic frames as circles, semi-circles, lozenges, parallelograms, horizontal mandorlas or sinuous-edged structures. In this manner, art ceases to be a mere ensemble of forms cut on a virtual window and becomes an agent of active interference on the environment.

Thus the name of this exhibit: EXTRAGÊNERO ('EXTRAGENRE'). Leaving behind the regular kind of painting where the frame encompasses/limits the artistic expression, Sebastião Rodrigues unleashes the potential of trimming, establishing a new dialog between the work of art and the surrounding space. More than an image, the artist develops a setting. Instead of a simple decoration, we find here a décor-action, an architecture which reactivates our contemplation from the irruption of an extrafield.

In the domain of movie-making, “extrafield” refers to everything that is not present on the picture itself and is left for the spectator to imagine. This word is used here to explain an overflow of the traditional frame, which triggers a much more active presence of forms and rhythms in the environment. More than a means of expression, Sebastião Rodrigues's paintings make up an expression on the media.

The artist himself tells us about a "painting-almost-sculpture". Rather, painting-architecture. Or still, painting-habitat, for when embodying the environment on the scope of its representation, the work of art establishes a new guideline for a daily relationship with the onlooker.

Delving into the inner space of each of these paintings, we encounter an artist who masters a number of techniques (fusain, pigments, collages, acrylic paint) and who has an overflowing character also in the field of language, for he operates with various plastic idioms: expressionism, tachisme, assemblages, abstractionism, and constructivism, among others. On the immense freedom acquired by the contemporary artist, in a time where there is excessive information everywhere, all pictorial schools can be appropriated. All of them are possible channels of communication.

Just like all genuine artists, Sebastião Rodrigues is absolutely personal in the scope of this multiplicity, for every piece of his work bears an unmistakable seal of expression.

The human figure, for example, is a recurring theme in his work. It usually emerges as a foggy torso, faceless most of the time; indefinite body parts, some molded like dense sculptures. As would suit an incomplete, permanently self-constructing/reinventing being. As would suit his restless artistic plan, in constant creative ebullition.

Around this central human figure, which is sometimes reduced to a simple foot or arm, the artist establishes his whirlwind of associated shapes, colors, textures, words, and relieves. These frenzied forms act as metaphoric codes for non-immanent concepts, such as time, freedom, life, non-tradition, the transient meaning of the very colors. Conforming to the artist's eternal mission: turning invisible into visible.

Sebastião Rodrigues sends us back to the hyper-current world, which cannot be apprehended any longer by the mechanistic thought of classical physics and needs non-linear mathematics, paradoxes, and the unpredictability concepts of Chaos Theory. In this ocean of uncertainties, he relentlessly pursues the "eye of the hurricane", the balance between order and disorder, rule and game, matter and wave. His best fruit is the beauty which confidently projects itself beyond banality.    

Mário Margutti
June, 2000