• Rômulo Andrade

To light up the city, Turiba

Atualizado: 30 de Set de 2019

Since the 70s the visual artist Romulo Andrade is looking for Brasília best lights. In April his works occupies the Referencia Gallery with an exhibition of paintings, memory boxes and objects that resemble indigenous flutes. Suggestively the show received its name To light up the City. The multimedia poet Bené Fonteles is the curator.

Romulo Andrade belongs to the so-called “Cabeças generation", which has painting and singing the capital in all its tones since the late 70's. At that time, a group of artists met at Cabeças Gallery at 311 Sul, led by producer Néio Lúcio, and at the Centro de Criatividade, today Espaço Cultural 508. They discussed art and aesthetics, played music on public lawns, poetic magazines and organized the exhibition Grande Circular, a tribute to the bus that connects the north and south wings of the city. They began to assimilate and give aesthetic value to the modern looks of Brasilia. This historic group was composed by painters Wagner Hermusche, Eurico Rocha, Luis Gallina, Galeno, musicians Renato Russo and Renato Matos, and poet Nicholas Behr.

Romulo loves traveling to incorporate new elements to his work. Born in Niterói (city across Guanabara bay, facing Ipanema beach) and having spent his childhood between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, he arrived in Brasilia in 1975 with 20. He fell for the Cerrado, where he made numerous field surveys, observing and drawing flowers, the birds, the sky and the movement of the stars. "The light of Brasilia is unique," he says.

In 1986 he travelled to the Amazon, where participated in an expedition to Lago do Arara, Rio Negro a few hours boat ride from Manaus. The following year, he edited a silk screen album called Rio Negro - Traveling Notes, a collection of drawings that records a ritual meeting of hoasqueiros, people linked to an ancient amerindian tradition, with images from inside the shelters (straw houses) within the dense Amazon forest. It includes a poem by Roberto Evangelista, visual artist and poet who lives in Manaus, and was selected in 95 for the traveling exhibition - Latin American Book Arts, which toured various US cities and Canada, organized by the Centre for Book Arts in New York .

In 1995, he went to Portugal to put together an exhibition and spent three months traveling in Europe - Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Galicia. He paused longer in Spain, where he studied the tiles and Andalusian art of Cordoba, Granada and Seville, hometown of his grandmother. "The Moors who settled in Andalusia, contrary to popular belief, lived in a society made up of refined dynasties from an aesthetic point of view and highly spiritualized. The palaces and temples, solid and exquisite architecture feature fountains, beautiful gardens and had their doors and windows oriented by the movement of the stars. The decorative patterns or arabesques carry teachings of great musicianship, sensitive mathematics and harmony. All that beauty and poetry expressed by the tales of the Arabian Nights, and many other ancient stories of Sufi tradition wisdom, are still present in these ancient cities" he says.

Exposure work 'To light up the City' can be grouped into categories that interact with each other. In all pieces the bright colours and abstract language of graphics, heritage coming from the Native Brazilians, and a rich living with the master painter Athos Bulcão, who was a friend and neighbour in the mid 80s.

The first collection of paintings can be characterized as an explosion of tiles. They have a strong presence in blue. "The blue from Phillips magnesia milk bottle, a childhood memory," whispers Romulo. To live with the deep blue, ultramarine, almost a blue twilight, he becomes the alchemist of colours. The studio where he prepares his paints is located outside the city, on the road linking Paranoá and Planaltina. Mixing mineral pigments with strong colours such as scarlet with acrylic resin; yellow and red iron oxide, titanium whites and lots of glass microspheres to give a special gloss to the paintings.

There is another line of works, which is the most enigmatic. In these, masks live with images that the mind of the artist captured on the trip to Spain. They are Moorish-Iberian and surprising keys ... almost an imaginary deck of cards that every lover of good art would hang on the wall of his room. It has style and some were painted in banana fibber paper, specially made for the artist for her friend Miriam Pires, Goiania.

Luis Turiba, poet and journalist 1998

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Ao longo de quarenta anos, Rômulo desenvolve em sua obra uma precoce abordagem poética dos Cerrados, a natureza única do Brasil central. Nascido em Niterói em 1954, viveu a infância e juventude entre


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