CLOSED IN ON THEMSELVES . ALEXANDER SANTIAGO
In his first solo show in a gallery in São Paulo, Flávio Cerqueira is showing the development of his work as his characters become aware of a vast horizon that is growing gigantically before their very eyes, impelling them to range beyond the shell that previously held them within a restricted universe and to experience everything that once seemed impossible to them. Cerqueira invites us to come along on this search for something more – an undertaking common to all of us – and if, along the way, we forget for an instant the presumed security lent by the ground we stand on and allow ourselves to go back to our childhood, raise our eyes, and dare to take a look at the sky, we will have a welcome surprise.
The artist peoples the exhibition space with beings who adopt reflexive postures, whose grandiosity is not conveyed by monumentality, but in works that can be understood without the need for any distancing, suggesting a certain intimacy. Figurative sculpture is the medium the artist has chosen to deal with recurring themes in contemporary life, such as loneliness, frustrations, expectations and hope. The crudeness of the bronze is veiled by the delicate white painting that Flávio confers to his first works, a false fragility consistent with the state of spirit that emanates from them. In sequence, the artist gradually lets this porcelain veil fall away, injecting energy into his figures, gradually freeing them from exile, bringing elements from the outer world – such as a ladder or branches – in to interact with them.
Initially, his figures are immersed in situations of total introspection while nevertheless dialoguing with the public, giving rise to an immediate sensation of recognition and complicity. And what begins as an autobiographical expression, mapping the universe of deep-rooted and conflicting feelings, takes on a collective dimension.
As we make contact with his sculptures it is not difficult for us to appreciate something that is manifested beyond the evident beauty. An air of nostalgia strikes us at the same time that each of these self-absorbed beings beckons for us to ask ourselves what they are feeling, and what is going through their minds.