Tony Camargo: Planopinturas e Videomódulos: Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, Brazil

Installation Views

This exhibition features recent works selected from three series produced with widely different techniques, but which are fundamentally related through a single pictorial research. These are the Planopinturas [Planepaintings], the Planopinturas Iconográficas [Iconographic Planepaintings] and the Videomódulos [Videomodules]. Since color is one of the bases that harmonize this relation, for knowing the singularity of this research, I have once again put the artworks to the test, seeking, as always, to refine and clarify the subject proposed through the course of my research.

In this path, it has been necessary to dispense with originality and autonomy as alibis for the existence of the work, since after all it doesn’t matter to me how well I – as opposed to any other person – can manage to “paint” this or that “painting.” I live and depend on a totally technical production, but I believe that my art should not be based on the virtuoso level of technical application that the work may depend on, or at least that is not the idea of art that drives me. Without a doubt, it is through the object, in its technique, that art is manifested; even though it is a work “of an” art, its character can be solely anchored in the conception of the artwork itself, and not necessarily in the making of the object per se.

The Planopinturas – both the “abstract ones” as well as the Iconográficas ones – are, in essence, drawings. They are created as autonomous works, but are conceived as images in the plane of a nonexistent universe, in a world of projections. They simply do not exist, they are not there on the wall, because they are so compact within themselves that they escape from their own place, and their body thus becomes a “real illusion.” “Realizing” a Planopintura flies in the face of reason, it is really trying to do the impossible. But art is the wellspring of metaphors that frees us from the agony of the paradoxes; this is a fact, and this is why it is worthwhile “printing” one of these images on the world, precisely to certify that it is impossible to propose its eventual existence, or to ultimately perceive its reality in the transcendent clarity of its limits.

Naturally, the experience of contemplating a painting is a totally active phenomenon that implies and suggests temporal elements, and yet painting is made through the sense of everything that is static, and this is perhaps the great triumph of this language, the power of revealing time on a static plane. The Videomódulos are nearly distressing in their immediate and automatic approximation with the language of painting. As “nervous beings,” credulously presupposing that they are paintings, in their process they dispense with the fact that they can only be seen when they are wholly “painted,” because their process of realization, in sum, is the “painting” itself taking place. In any case, painting conditioned on a compact space is what I always obtain in my research. Thus, as incredible as it may seem, although it is made of organic images, also a Videomódulo always awakens in me the same reflections of a Planopintura, indicating, like a Planopintura, a utopian but fascinatingly tangible condition.

At rock bottom, with art, I want to create some inquiry, and only this; I don’t need to be concerned about choosing the technical means for the formulation of the question, or about the eventual answers.

translation: John Mark Norman