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Curated by Julie Dumont

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umbigo do desejo


Failed and fragile loves, veiled desires, memories of bodies, moments and travels, of life in Brazil's interior, its religious adornments, and processions coexist with references from literature, art history, and contemporary art and merge into Matheus Chiaratti's pictorial field.

Umbigo do Desejo, Chiaratti’s first solo show in Brazil, brings experiences and reminiscences in the form of encrypted images, of subjective loose constructions, reinventing, between abstraction and figurative, stories into history. 

The articulation of elements as a rebus evokes a technical construction, almost cinematographic of the image. The proposition allows the capture and revelation of an essence that goes beyond what the eye can capture. It refers to the concepts developed by Walter Benjamin regarding photography and cinema, which, not inadvertently were the background and focus of Chiaratti before starting painting. 

In parallel, words permeate the body of work: letters appear or vanish while the artwork titles suggest and combine personal and artistic references, elaborating themes as affection, sexuality, tradition, and nature. The importance of words is yet emphasized by an acrylic box containing the almost 600 pages of a WhatsApp conversation between two lovers, establishing a formal link between the art object and the storytelling that remains otherwise hidden. The pages of the artwork, simple impressions, can be manipulated by the public, revealing a moment of extreme intimacy. 

The embroideries, show the friction between Chiaratti´s country origins and his life in a metropolis such as São Paulo. The mere object refers de facto to the Catholic paraphernalia while embodying allusions to artworks from artists like Rivane Neuenschwander and Leonilson, to chaos and desire and their opposites. 

The drawings outline the elements developed in the paintings, where images that form Chiaratti´s pictorial vocabulary merge and reflect off one another: baroque of the churches, landscapes from São Paulo’s countryside, fragments of bodies, familiar faces or portrait of poets, statues reminiscent of Italy, desire´s blue waters, environments evoking the impersonal coldness of furtive meeting places contrasting with the warm colors of an imaginary Africa. 

In Matheus Chiaratti´s painting, the intimate memories are treated as secrets and as such, kept with care. As in the parcourse of the artist's artworks, the exhibition is built as a diary and reveals, in an entanglement of forms and symbols, the ambiguity of feelings and situations of intricate and affectionate worlds. In this construction, image and language condense and open, despite the intricacy, a breach where the unspeakable appears. Dialoguing with Freud´s dream or Lacan´s desire, Umbigo do Desejo reveals the artist´s fascination for the pulsions, the primitive and the intimate, through texture, color, patterns and voids, invisible zones or keys of the hidden narrative. 

Julie Dumont, The Bridge Project


Umbigo do desejo - curated by Julie Dumont

Opening: 24 April 2019, 6pm

Until May 24th

Quadra | Rua Dias Ferreira, 175, Rio de Janeiro


design: Ana Lobo

©2020 by Matheus Chiaratti.

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