Hélio Oiticica


Hélio Oiticica (1937 – 1980) was amused by the effort that people had to classify him: “That’s genius. The way people refer to me is great. Some called me a painter, others a sculptor. And, even worse, I was called an architect! And this came to a maximum on the Chacrinha television program, which called me couturier! No one finds a definition. Ah, ah, ah “.

He defined himself as an inventor, unleasher of states of invention. And he was, inventor of the term Tropicália, title taken from an environmental project where he proposed a challenge, an affront. No more European art, no more aristocratic art. He wanted to celebrate the artistic power of the native indians, the blacks, the Brazilian miscegenation. “The return of the myth,” as the carioca artist would say, “the end of cultural arianism.”

Hélio Oiticica began his trajectory of invention as a painter, a painter of color. The color, however, not only as a visual appeal, but in every sense, gushing to the edges of the canvas. When in the mid 1960s the inventor adhered to the Neoconcretism movement and declared war toward orthodoxy of Concretism, he broke with the two-dimensionality of painting. monochromes are born, structures that germinate from the wall.

After the loss of his father, a major figure in his formation, Hélio had a mythological period on the Mangueira hill, when he plunged into aspects of favela and samba, visceral in his construction processes. He absorbs experiences of all social classes and, in the process of dealing with them, stops to represent the abysses of money and begins to go deeper and deeper in experiments.

His consequent objects are experiences where the viewer is master of their own: the identification objects Bólides, the Parangolés that trespass the meaning of dress and becomes creative commotions, individual expressions through the body.
Tropicália, environment of inspiration with objects from Brazil, from conviviality, from the everyday. The Eden as the junction of his entire sensory work. He longed for the labyrinth as a deconstruction of space.

And the space is no longer abstract, it is a place of experiences. He himself, sprawled out, sitting and writing within his Nests, while the visitors lost themselves between cloths, their feet bare on the sand of his environmental inventions.

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