AN EXHIBITION BY JOÃO JACINTO
Critics invoke matter every time they speak about this artist’s work. This subject derives from the confrontation between João Jacinto and the materials in front of him: paints, canvases, paper, pastel, charcoal. Materials that turn into works of art, some of them thicker, going beyond the dimensions of their media, and some of them apparently more contained and conformed. “Eu metia as mãos na água” is not just a title. It’s the enunciation or announcement of a gesture – the artist faces what’s in front of him and creates weird portraits of heads and faces that look at us, such as the head of Holofernes, recently cut by Judith, or the head of John the Baptist served to Salome on a platter. These are disturbing images that are very close to his self-portraits in aesthetic terms. They disturb us for their false incompleteness, shades involving each head, abyssal blank spaces surrounding them. João Jacinto is one of the greatest artists of the second half of the 20th century. He is part of the group of artists who retrieved images from pure abstractionism and gave a face and body to the profoundly traumatised post-war world that spend these last years trying to forget. And the work of these artists exists, because this should be remembered more than ever before. So that horror can remain only in works of art – to where we look and that give us our own look back more intensely.