Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Beatriz Milhazes

I just love the paintings of Beatriz Milhazes, the colors, the shapes, waves and fluent lines that kind of fit so nicely together. But above all the colors are so rich and happy. They fit so well into the things I like: unique, groovy, sassy, swanky, hip, bright, bold & funky stuff that gives you the wiggles & giggles.
Here some background information. Established Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes has attracted international attention with her colorful compositions since the 1990s. Her art features elements of both Brazilian pop culture and modern visual languages. Overlapping floral motifs, ornamental arabesques and abstract patterns convey an excessive, sensuous energy.Beatriz Milhazes's paintings are seductive. They are like a rare Amazonian plant - at once both ravishing and deceptive, full of layers, unexpected tricks and treats. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1961, Milhazes has over the past two decades built up a rich and complex repertoire of images, forms and colours in her work. While she shows an adventurous fusion of in.uences, her canvases have an undeniably Brazilian flavour - filled with brightly coloured elements relating to a string of popular Brazilian motifs, from carnival-inspired imagery to tropical flora and fauna.
Many of these explosions of colour originate in her small, compact studio, where she has been based since 1987. It is situated right next door to Rio's luscious botanical gardens, and, inevitably, the forms and patterns of the flowers - delicate swirls and leaf-like shapes - have found their way into her paintings. She has also "taken advantage of the atmosphere of the city", with its rich urban mix incorporating chitão (the cheap, colourful Brazilian fabric), jewellery, embroidery and folk art. Other influences range from architectural - the work of Roberto Burle Marx, the landscape architect and garden designer who created the five-kilometre Copacabana beach promenade in Rio - to Pop symbols such as Emilio Pucci fabric patterns. Painterly inspiration comes from the seventeenth-century Dutch artist Albert Eckhout, who travelled through colonial Brazil, and the Brazilian Modernist Tarsila do Amaral, as well as Mondrian, Matisse and Bridget Riley. Evidence of her terms of reference can be found pinned to the walls of her studio - magazine fragments, postcards and pieces of clothing, as well as some of her own drawings.

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