Deyson Gilbert and David Salle at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo / MOUSSE CONTEMPORARY ART MAGAZINE

Deyson Gilbert and David Salle at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo

by mousse

March 6~2014

Above – Deyson Gilbert, DCVXVI, 2003-2007 and David Salle, “Collage” installation view at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2014

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Deyson Gilbert “DCVXVI”

What is the title of the exhibition (…)?

The exhibition is named after the main set of presented pieces: a series of paintings and objects I developed from 2003 to 2007, and which later I began to see as a single and concluded work, named since then as DCVXVI.

Where does it come from?

The title refers to the tattoo Febrônio had around his own trunk. The same tattoo he did on some of the teenagers he killed and raped.

You mean, Febrônio, Febrônio? Febrônio Ìndio do Brasil, the serial killer who killed and raped a lot of people in the 20s in Rio?

That is him. DCVXVI was the symbol given to him in one of his visions. Even though it seems like a Roman number, it is really an abbreviation, a kind of notarikon of the words God, Charity, Virtue, Sanctity, Life, Magnet of Life. In one of these visions, a blond woman gave this symbol/number to him and ordered that he tattooed it, even if using his force, on some children out there. From that moment on he would call himself the Son of Light, which was also one of the other tattoos he had on his body. In the middle of this madness, according to him, he had a not very simple mission: to declare to the world that God was not dead. That is, the guy wasn’t the anti-Christ. The guy was the anti-Nietzsche (laughs). At that time, when he was arrested in the Correlational Colony of Dois Rios, Febrônio wrote his only book, The Revelations of the Prince of Fire. When I had the opportunity to read it – there is only one issue in the whole world –, I was extremely impressed. It was exactly then that, not by chance, I began to do these pieces.

But hold on. What the fuck does Febrônio have to do with this whole thing?

What do you mean? Roman numbers, prophetic abbreviations, murders and rapes, a mystical book in volcanic prose, a guy who calls himself the Son of Light and claims he came to the world to show that God was not dead. Fuck, this was everything I asked Him. It was all I asked God and Adorno. That is when I understood that Marx became much more amusing when you let this whole craziness into the story. Put in the same meat mincer both Satan and the clarification dialectics. (laughs)

Since you brought it up out of the blue… how do you conciliate all of this, that is, the historicalmaterialistic perspective and the critical theory with this chaos you insist of hermetically leaving there?

I think the answer is really simple, right? We leave it all as it is. Send conciliation to fucking hell. To shove Urim and Thummim up history’s ass and expect someday someone will shit from there a fucking grey stone.

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at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo

until 22 March 2014

Untitled, 2004

DCVXVI, 2003/2007

Retrato de Febrônio Índio do Brasil, 2014


Untitled, 2014

Untitled, 2013

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Deyson Gilbert, “DCVXVI” installation view at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2014

Courtesy: Mendes Wood DM,  São Paulo.

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David Salle “Collage”

Mendes Wood DM is pleased to present “Collage” , the first solo exhibition of American artist David Salle in Brazil. The show in São Paulo will be an international debut of a new series of 15 collages along with a selection of paintings. It highlights a body of work which represents a new direction Salle has been developing in recent years which applies the juxtaposition principles made possible by the collage.

David Salle has been exhibiting worldwide since the late 1970s. He has participated Documenta 7 (1982), Venice Biennale (1982 and 1993) and Whitney Biennial (1983, 1985, and 1991) among many others international expositions. Salle is considered as one of the princpal figures of what later became known as the Pictures Generation  of the 80s in the United States. Alongside major artists such as Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, all of whom deal with forms of appropriation  from mass media, David Salle developed a very singular pictorial grammar nourished by the great tradition of painting.

Salle drew creativity from his incredibly rich visual vocabulary largely from existing pictures taken out of glossy magazines. Employing the postmodern technique of pastiche, Salle’s imagery laden work, tends to appropriate ready-made forms in a single canvas. His painting combines different technics and motifs brought together in several modes of representation. Grids, figures, words, abstract objects… his visual system plays with formal and conceptual juxtapositions.

Working with a variety of media, Salle creates an assemblage with manifold cultural references. From art history models to advertisements and everyday culture, everything is turned into material for Salle’s artistic syntax. This allows different narratives and styles to cohabitate on a common surface.

Since the mid-80s, Salle’s work regularly included elements and allusions to other artistic canons ranging from the Baroque painters, to the Post-Impressionist Cézanne, to Magritte or Francis Picabia and to American post-war art. This quotation process together with superimposed images creates a certain effect of semantic multiplication that Salle has prolonged in his recent collages.

Salle uses the same rules of composition, of diverse images in a grid, in his new work. With the collage entitled Brady,  he has put together a black and white image of a simple golf ball, a delicate brown glass of alcohol beside the reclining body of a woman, bared breast and legs spread. Her sex open to the viewer alludes clearly to the provocative Origine du monde  Courbet painted in 1866 showing a close-up view of the genitals of a woman, an image which has become 80 famous as to he banal.

The grid imposes a rhythm, straight lines follow verticality and shift the images. The collages appear to be set the wrong way round. They give viewer a certain feeling of confusion.

In Beach , Salle includes one element, the Vortex, an elements of his pictorial language since 2004. The spiral is an anamorphic experiment placed in the center of the canvas, a distortion of motifs inspired by computer aesthetics. Technicaly speaking, the vortex is a testimony to the extreme control and authority of its author; it is a way to get an iconographic register out of a fixed moment. Instantly, the whole reference of 60s American dream reflected in the choice of imagery is distanced.

Salle uses his collisions of motifs as a way to give the painting complete autonomy, his work try to capture an emotion while liberating the gaze of the viewer.

Estelle Nabeyrat

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at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo

until 22 March 2014

David Salle, “Collage” installation view at Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, 2014

Courtesy: Mendes Wood DM,  São Paulo.