The Art of Silva Maranhao

An introduction to his master project, Cries of the Nations 

Overview of the Project and Introduction of the Artist

Cries of the Nations

 

By Silva Maranhão

 

Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going?

 

The project “Cries of the Nations” is composed of 106 paintings made with the technique of acrylic and oil on canvas. The style is surrealistic, modern-figurative, and symbolic. The paintings are different sizes and together take up around 500 square meters of canvas. The project was realized over a 20-year period of research, and is inspired by the strong and precise features of the culture and architecture of the Mayan and Egyptian civilizations.

 

The theme exposes and transforms into a modern presentation the problem of the limitations of man, with the assistance of a persona called the “Global Bumpkin” (from the Portuguese “Matuto Global,” “matuto” being a Brazilian term for a “country bumpkin”), who plays a part in a play on capitalism, democracy, and theocracy that spans the entire project. He is a man with a small head and large feet, who has an advantageous physique but leaves diminishing traces. He is the representative of all humanity which, concerning the intellect, uses only seven to eight percent of his rational capacity. This contrasts with the use of 90 to 93% of his physical mass to traverse an existence that does not last more than 80 years on average.


The Artist: Insights and Perceptions

Here are some quotes of the artist, Silva Maranhao:

"[Early in my career] I perceived that if you paint 24 hours a day, you have the possibility of becoming a good painter."


"You have to differentiate between painting and art. Painting is mere technique. Art is curiosity. Culture means respect for limits."


"I made [painted] the Piedade [Piete] Michelangelo. I did not disrespect Michelangelo. I used the same image to make my point: Mary (imperfect). I took the same image and created another curiosity. Mary was imperfect, but gave birth to the perfect Jesus."


"A work of art is saying two words: 'Work' means construction; 'art' means curiosity. An artist builds a curiosity."


Art and High-Technology:

"Before the discovery of high-tech, art dominated the world. Afterwards, art became just a historical fact. You can no longer generate curiosity by painting flowers like Van Gogh."


Note:

 

We are presently scheduling public exhibitions of the project “Cries of the Nations” in North America and Europe.  Please take a look at  the Artwork tab to see photos of our booth at the New York Artexpo, which took place at the Javits Convention Center from February 28 to March 3, 2008, and included three works from "Cries of the Nations."  We also have included photos from our October 2008 exhibition at 532 Gallery in Chelsea along with photos of the artist visiting the United Nations and the Guggenheim in New York.

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