• Extracted Vital Youth

    Date posted: February 21, 2011 Author: jolanta
    Diogo Evangelista’s paintings erupt out of a bewildering convergence of familiar images, although not necessarily recognizable or identifiable in the context of the visual culture. Those images form non-linear narrative cores, which generate a tortuous and disguised matrix. Each of his paintings has a reading of its own and shows a unique perspective which corresponds to the artist’s decisions. At each pictorial movement, he is the one who decides what to show and what to conceal, who leads the flow of attention, and he creates—as if it was choreography—focusing lapses of time oscillating between the evidence of certain details and distractions. 

    Text by Pedro N. Marques; Translated from Portuguese by Elisa Evangelista

    Caption: Diogo Evangelista, Colossal Youth3, 2009. Oil, collage, spray varnish

    Diogo Evangelista’s paintings erupt out of a bewildering convergence of familiar images, although not necessarily recognizable or identifiable in the context of the visual culture. Those images form non-linear narrative cores, which generate a tortuous and disguised matrix. Each of his paintings has a reading of its own and shows a unique perspective which corresponds to the artist’s decisions. At each pictorial movement, he is the one who decides what to show and what to conceal, who leads the flow of attention, and he creates—as if it was choreography—focusing lapses of time oscillating between the evidence of certain details and distractions. Because his raw materials include research as well as the appropriation of all sorts of images, Diogo Evangelista often uses images extracted from newspapers or professional photography magazines, from the Internet, or even from street propaganda. In other words, he resorts on the History of Painting and its motives and genres such as the portrait, the landscape, or the still life as well as on the contemporary subculture. He emphasizes the interchange in disparity instead of consensus. These images are connected with a shared visual culture, and emerge from a collective memory under constant change, permanently subject to the vertigo of forgetfulness and to the eminence of remembering. They are a communal property reappearing under the strangeness of recognition, like a too close and too familiar déjà-vu. Perhaps this is the cause of a certain tranquillity and introspection that they emanate, in spite of the painted reference.
       
    The element that somehow unites these images lies in the inner power that turned them into paintings, as well as in the subjective vision of the artist, who moves in a tradition not distant from the “ready-made,” but above all, in a aesthetic view of the world. Diogo Evangelista utilizes the colour, the light, and the scale which are conceived from all of the precious work and dedication of photographers, models, designers, and producers that make each image. Curiously, the original composition also remains, and this fact might lead us to consider the artist’s process either as one of cynicism or one of extreme sincerity, or to interpret it as a posture of sincere devotion for images in general. It seems as if most of the reactions to Diogo Evangelista’s works emanate from the abidance of the original image, from the sincerity inherent to its presence, from its aesthetic seduction as well as from a certain innocence they eradiate.
       
    This simultaneity of cynicism and sincerity is not—and could never be—an aleatory event. If we took an almost anthropological approach of the image, we would see that these are paintings that search for the mechanisms that allow a given painting to become powerful and effective, that ask why and when a certain image might be considered completed. When the artist recognizes the previous dedication embedded in the images chosen to become painted, he also acknowledges the fact that an image is always shared between who creates it and who usurps it. It’s not exactly the case of a new image or a new author, but the fact that the image is the same, whose origin is a collective entity.
       
    It’s not simply painting… if one thinks of painting as the act of placing paints on a surface. The encounter of images that underlies the artist’s process is a double event: the starting point is the image selection, followed by their exposure once they become paintings. If both gestures are related to a selection—both conscious and intuitive—the expository setup of the paintings broadens the association process: the mixing of images becomes a more complex collection of symbols, interpretations, and expectations that go beyond a narrative imposition. In spite of being autonomous, each painting is immersed in connection and narration.

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