Curated by Adolfo Monetejo Navas, this retrospective of the Chilean artist Patricio Farías compiles artwork made since the 1980s, bringing together a selection of the plurality of mediums he has explored over his decades’ long career. Farías moved to Brazil in the early 1980s, fleeing the Chilean dictatorship, and this is his first solo show in São Paulo.
Mastering the craftsmanship of shaping wood, metals and cloth into exquisitely rendered three-dimensional pieces, the alluring imaginative machinery and equipment in the exhibition are a highlight. Farias’ work expresses the spirit of an inventor, something that evokes a dialogue with Leonardo da Vinci: socially aware and unhindered by mundane boundaries. In Equipamento do Escalador Social (Social climber’s equipment, 2010), Farias presents an outfit that blends the style of a hazmat suit with the exoskeleton of an exotic creature, bearing a tail and wheels on its portion of trunk. In Equipamento para voar Alto (Equipment to fly high, 2010), another wacky suit bearing wings, a helmet and a rocket for a tail, the artist ignites a sense of naively boundless freedom. Farias’ unique blends of recognizable everyday objects nods towards commentary on consumer society and in O Grande Vidro (The Large Glass, 1998–2010), which explicitly references Marcel Duchamp’s homonymous iconic piece, Farias pays homage to the legacy that preceded him.
- Camila Belchior
For more picks from São Paulo read our Critic's Guide to the city here.