“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”
Sacred Emily in Gertrude Stein's 'Geography and Plays' (1922) (1)
The imaginary world in Alexandre Coxo’s work wanders between the contemplation and meditation exercise, guided by the perseverance on mastering the technic in art. It would not be misplaced to situate his work amid the assumptions of the Prometheus and Orpheus’ myths, in the duality of the fire stolen to the gods and their enchantment through the lyre.
The exercises proposed by Alexandre Coxo for this exhibition, although individual and personal, are common to all of us. They are exercises where the liberation is processed both through stealing the fire, regarding the technic, and through the enchantment provided by meditation, thus inducing cogitative phenomenon in the viewer.
Jacob Bronowski says that “(...) rock art is, like the chipped stone instrument, an attempt to control the absent environment and both are created with the same spirit; they are exercises from which Man frees himself from the mechanical impulses of Nature.” (2)
The nature of the contemporary Human it’s a nature of emulation, based on more or less rigid social assumptions and with a primitive meaning. It’s on the attempt of giving an answer for a bigger purpose that Alexandre throws us to his imaginary of contrapositions in a depurated exercise that set us free and invites us to find the balance in the contradiction between the authorial process and the reflective essay.
(1) STEIN, Gertrude. Geography and Plays. University of Wisconsin Press, 2012.
(2) BRONOWSKI, Jacob. Arte e Conhecimento: ver, imaginar, criar [The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination]. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1983.
Eu Tiro - Superficial reflection on time
Painting died. One time, another and once again in the History of Art. Painting resurrected.
Painting never died. It recognized the challenges and constructed from there, making it even more feasible after conceptual art, as an option to shape the idea and therefore to differentiate it from other possibilities.
In the series Eu tiro - Reflexão superficial sobre o tempo, the painting tries to be reflexive and critical, organized in chapters, like a book, with a temporal narrative that still reflects on the very act of painting and on its representation.
The works are based on a sculpture of the author's own foot, trying to reflect on the effects of the passage of time. The piece appears physically and pictorially represented in the three triptychs, at three moments of its existence: the breaking of the mold, the accidental breaking during atransportation and other parallel stories.
The time that the mold fragment originates is premeditated.
The time that originates the fragment of marble is accidental.
The time between adds other stories.
A little like the exercise of Joseph Kosuth's chair, the sculpture comes in three forms: the real object, its figurative representation, its abstract representation and also its sculptural reproduction.
For the spectator there are also three times. First the contemplation: the landscape, the sky, the trees, the horizon. Then the strangness. Something contradicts itself and causes discomfort. The figuration and abstraction of the same object, in an opposition between a realistic representation, of classic treatment in light and shadow, and its geometrical abstraction, rigorous and rigid, causes a certain magrittean strangeness. And finally, the reflection.
Advertising, professional stigmas or romantic ideals are buzzwords that characterize contemporary society. Evolution happens in the absence of a space for the "personal", there is a refusal of silence. However this psychotic dimension is opposed by the development of leisure activities. Some are characterized by the throwing of objects such as the launching of the dart and the disc, the target, the match of the “fito” or the marble.
The warlike imagery is rooted in our culture. In childhood we are encouraged to give the shot. Build up toys, develop skills. Destruction is not considered, no matter the target. Fantasy is reality in a moment of pleasure alienated from everything else.
A vicious cycle invites the creation of a parallel world. A gradual way leads to loss of contact with reality. Here arises the shot as leisure, developed in spaces prepared for its practice. In an idealized nature we construct moments without expectation.
The decision of the shot is an instant that condenses in itself a history of thoughts. The need to capture this tiny dimension of time places an obstacle to painting. This couldn’t be realized from the real.
In this way, photography and video are proposed as tools to fix and compile the information necessary for the exercise of painting. Painting is the time for which it refers. The time it required. And the time that watches her. Like "A mental representation is elaborated in an almost hallucinatory way and seems to borrow its characteristics to the vision" (Joly, 1994), to construct a painting involves a preambular of analysis and research that must be abundant in register.
Tiro - A Man Who Can Change
The paintings in this series were inspired by the poem that was dedicated to me by my friend Daniel. The poem is, in a way, impossible to translate. So I leave a brief description and then the original.
The poem speaks of a man who can change his way of seeing and being in the world. This ability has a cost: the man can be alone.
Um Homem que consegue mudar
Só e a sua arte
Para dela fazer
A solidão de quem a vê
Transmitida pelo saber
De quem pode escolher
A sua causa,
Com doces preconceitos
Molda a visão e o mundo
Molda a solidão de quem vê
Torna-o livre e profundo
Torna-o num Homem
Num Homem que tudo vê.
Tiro - Optical
"Tiro - Optical" is the attempt to create a post-photographic photorealistic painting.
This series comes from the urban landscape of Porto. The intention is to produce paintings with various levels of reception, to promote active contemplation. Recovering images of the romanticism of Porto, the attention is in the places of the city where the wild cohabits with the human.
Returning to the realistic tone of the century. XIX, and similar to the photorealists of the 20th century. XX, I try to construct images whose rigor is linked to the details of reality, but "based not on the direct vision of the real but on a language elaborated on previous images" (Maeyer 1978)
Tiros - CoArtCo
"Tiros" is a series of paintings that respond to the challenge launched by CoArtCo. In it I crossed my work process with the city of Porto, having made 13 landscapes.
As I intend to propose a cogitative observation, this series begins in the places of the city dominated by the wild. Yet this savage is urban and familiar, remembering the boundaries we build and cultivate.
As in the Flemish or French landscape painting of the 18th century, these paintings refer in an ambiguous tone to the moment and the nostalgic. A painting that reveals its origin in a subtle way, remembering both the places and the borders that we find and construct in them.
Tiros - Memento
Alexandre Coxo is, at first, a virtuous and an everyday viewer. Perhaps because of his initial training in the area of health, he has acquired this special competence for attention to detail. His work has attracted the attention of broad audiences and it is not surprising that he has received several prizes and mentions recently. In this new series of works, the artist combines the geometry with the landscape view in a dual way, although related by a palette that has already become its brand image. Its production is slow, remaining faithful to the oil and the canvas and to its drying times and design formalities. Alexandre Coxo is one of the promises of our days and it is by artists with their characteristics that, although the end of art is proclaimed, it acquires days in eternity.
Tiros – Once Upon A Time
"Once upon a time" marks the beginning of a narrative discourse whose order of words is sequential and self-generated by a certain ordered, preordained movement. In history there is a series of events and it is in this interplay of causality and effect that they present themselves and represent the most expressive effects of the narrative, already imagined, recreated and transformed. Not only by those who make them known but also by those who receive them and, sequentially, dominate, move and disorder what once was, to be again, what was once and repeatedly has ceased to be, in series.
It was the river, your body and a tree.
The water of the river moves and you watch.
In the shadow of a tree, you wait and you remain.
You look far, far away, in a house, two and more.
You approach the river without leaving the shadow of the tree.
The movement of water creates a harmonious sequence of sounds.
Your body leaves the shadow of the tree and continues to follow.
You walk with the water of the river, a tree and a house, two and more.
Once upon a time there was the river, a tree and you transformed them.