Ivald Granato died three years ago, even without his charismatic presence the five-decade-old work continues to intrigue. Lying in the middle of hindsight My Name is Ivald Granato Eu Sou, at Sesc Belenzinho, the young woman dressed in bright colors, like the artist's works, tried to understand everything from a different angle. At first, I saw it as a recreation of a performance, then I discovered that she was attracted to the work of Granato, an artist she didn't know before the retrospective. Performance with the face and signature of Granato. He would applaud.
In the incessant search for the unpredictable, for the ephemeral game, for risk, for joy, without caring about the consequences, Granato traced a trajectory that naturally took him to the stage, with outstanding performances. I followed his path in São Paulo and was a constant spectator of his performances, some of them held at parties at friends' houses. The retrospective, curated by Daniel Rangel, although set up in a small space for the volume of works, which reaches 500, shows the scope of Granato's production. Mail art, paintings, drawings, videos, artist's notebooks, objects, sculptures, show an artist who produced feverishly, with humor and pleasure. In the main room, in an immense panel, examples of their languages live side by side, forming a kind of video wall which displays, simultaneously, all its phases.
Painting, his first passion, is the central axis of his work where everything begins and ends. In Granato's hands, the brush becomes a projectile that draws multicolored orbits and spaces. Painting and drawing run together on the canvas, derived from quick brushstrokes that intertwine and reach the drawing. Granato agreed that his painting was linked, indirectly, to surrealist automatism, letting the unconscious surface.
Involved with paints and brushes since the age of six, the artist as a teenager painted under the influence of the American Robert Newman. Images of him, moved within the experimental culture, reveal Granato protagonist of a dialogue very close to the public. His narratives are built with proximity and distance, influenced, especially, by the concerns of the 80s.
One of his outstanding performances took place in 1978 at an event he had conceived, stray myths, which took place in a parking lot on Rua Augusta. O happeningg was a critical, mocking and irreverent parody of the 1st Latin American Bienal that took place at the Bienal Pavilion, in Ibirapuera Park, with the title Myths and Magic. It was the first and only edition of this biennial, eliminated from the map after heated discussions between Latin American critics invited by the Biennial to assess the importance of its permanence. Granato arrived at the party dressed as Ciccillo Matarazzo Sobrinho and Lygia Pape as Yolanda Penteado, Ciccillo's wife, to join Hélio Oiticica, José Roberto Aguilar, Marta Minujin, Gabriel Borba, Regina Vater, Ubirajara Ribeiro and many others. A year later he would receive the ABCA award for best painter of 1979.
Performances as aesthetic emergencies are transgressive within a culture in which the body is turned to itself, based on prevailing conventions. For Granato, performances are also places of reunion and collective performances. Salomé and Luciano Castelli, two painters linked to neo-expressionism, members of the “the savages of Berlin” movement, worked with him in São Paulo. Granato and Salomé executed a 6×1,5m panel with four hands and two years later, with Castelli, he made four-hand engraving, as well as a performance at the Subdistrito Gallery. Both remained inside a clear plastic cube painting like Pollock. This took place during the 19th Bienal de São Paulo, in 1978, in which Castelli and Salomé participated, under the curatorship of Sheila Leirner.
In painting, his interest runs through unexpected forms, freeing them from the canvas, transforming them into objects developed under expressionist influence towards an experimentalism of techniques and materials. With Granato, the creative process acquires a character of pleasure, with the ability to use infinite ways to achieve an art that is not dramatic, not predictable or not bureaucratic.