ANDRÉ GRIFFO (Brazil, 1979) is an artist. He graduated in architecture and urbanism from Universidade Santa Úrsula (2004) and has been solely dedicated to art since 2009. He works with painting, installation and drawing, exploring fissures in the fabric of Brazilian society. To this end he draws on historical and iconographic references from Brazil’s recent and remote past. Prominent among his individual exhibitions are Objetos sobre Arquitetura Gasta [Objects on Worn-Out Architecture], Centro Cultural São Paulo (2017); Intervenções Pendentes em Estruturas Mistas [Hanging Interventions in Mixed Structures], Palácio das Artes, Belo Horizonte (2015); and Commando, via the occupation tender of Galeria de Arte Fernanda Perracini Milani, Jundiaí Municipal Government, São Paulo (2015). His collective exhibitions include Ao Amor do Público I [At the Audience’s Love I] – Doações da ArtRio (2012–2015); MinC/Funarte, MAR, Rio de Janeiro, (2014); and Instabilidade Estável [Stable Instability], Paço das Artes, São Paulo (2014).
The work O GOLPE, A PRISÃO E OUTRAS MANOBRAS INCOMPATÍVEIS COM A DEMOCRACIA depicts former president Lula speaking on the platform set up in the courtyard of the ABC Metalworkers Union before his arrest in 2018, in the city of São Bernardo do Campo, an emblematic space of struggle for the return of democracy in Brazil at the end of the military regime. Framed by a television, the image highlights the levels of mediation between the audience and the themed political event. Thus, the painting mobilizes the historical genre in times of fake news, narrative conflicts and contest for hegemony between social media sites and mainstream telecommunication outlets.
The images in the work PERCORRER TEMPOS E VER AS MESMAS COISAS (2017) are part of the artist’s iconographic research of photographs, paintings, drawings and architecture of Brazil’s colonial and imperial past. The characters in these images—patriarch, wife, children, slaves, bastard son, church representatives and politicians—serve as reference points for narratives that, besides exposing Brazil’s past social structure, shed light on social inequalities of the present and testify to the immutability of the state of affairs in the country. The work is part of the eponymous series.
The work UMA COR PARA CADA ERRO COMETIDO (2017) is part of the Percorrer Tempos e Ver as Mesmas Coisas [Exploring Ages and Seeing the Same Things] series, in which the artist draws on iconographic research on Brazil’s colonial and imperial past, investigating the photography, architecture and arts of those historical periods and bringing into private settings the collective imagination of a decadent but permanent slave society. It thus explores the self-feeding resilience of a social structure that survives historical evolution.
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