Slave quarters, 2011 – 2017, by José Rezende
Slave quarters, 2011 – 2017, by José Rezende

Croasted today with the russian pianist Ksenia Kogan Amaro and father of 5 children, Marcos Amaro, youngest son of Commander Rolim Adolfo Amaro, founder of TAM who died in 2001, returns to settle in Brazil. After several years living abroad, in the US and Belgium, he gives a certain dose of oxygen to the battered national cultural scene. He has his father's entrepreneurial streak. It is clear, in the way he organizes his work and his choices, that his horizon is broad. He's a planner. The following is some of his history and projects:

A!B: Tell us a little about your journey

My father died in 2001 in a helicopter crash when I was 17 years old.

His entire fortune was in the company. He was from a time when the entrepreneur's assets were all invested in the company. At that age, I went to work as a trainee at TAM and even participated as a member of the Board. I decided to leave the company in 2006–2007, despite being very fond of aviation. I am the only child of my father and mother. I decided to sell my shares for two reasons: first, because I wouldn't be able to control the company and I also didn't want to depend on my brothers. The second because I wanted to go my own way.

I went to undertake, to be an entrepreneur. I had Óticas Carol, here in Brazil, and then I sold it, in 2013.

But I have always made my business life parallel with my interest in culture and art.

I studied, studied Economics and Philosophy. Philosophy threw me into art. Art channels several areas of my interest. However, I also needed to work with matter and that was when my work as an artist began. I recover old planes, buy aeronautical parts and create sculptures. Today, at another time, I use concrete, blowtorch, decompose and build.

But the whole process is a way of being close to my father and at the same time being able to create my own language.

A!B: What led you to return to Brazil?

Since 2008, I started to collect and dedicate most of my projects to art.

Specifically, my work requires a lot of space and in Belgium I didn't have it. I created the Marcos Amaro Foundation in 2012, and I recently acquired the Emmathomas gallery brand, took on two of the gallery's artists, Alan Fontes and Paula Klien from Rio de Janeiro, and I'm adding a new cast.

In 2017, we created the Marcos Amaro Award at sp-arte, where we give R$ 25.000 to the winning artist and we also acquire one of his works. In 2017, the winner was Ivan Grilo and this year Brígida Baltar.

A!B: Yeah, there are a lot of things to fly from afar… How was the Foundation born and with what objectives?

She is born with some goals. The one of disseminating my work as an artist is one of them. Today I am its President, but the more we can professionalize it, the less it will need me. Thus, I will be able to dedicate myself more to my work as an artist. It was born with the aim of investigating the paths of contemporary art, being able to document what is done in Brazil and fundamentally promote the collection.

After 10 years, the collection has more than 1000 works ranging from baroque to contemporary. It will be predominantly Brazilian, made up of sculptures, an important collection of photographs and paintings – engravings and drawings – and featuring Latin American artists. In this sense, I started to get rid of European and American pieces that were no longer the focus of the collection.

[At the end of this edition, we learned that Marcos Amaro had donated an Andy Warhol to the MASP collection].

The sculpture collection is not random, specifically it dialogues with my work. Some of the artists who are already part of it are Cildo Meireles, Nuno Ramos, Tunga, León Ferrari and Henrique Oliveira.

The Marcos Amaro Foundation is legally an association, an Oscip. Right now I am separating what belongs to the private collection and what will belong to the Foundation's collection. For that, I'm making loan agreements. I think it is necessary to create this professionalization. I want to clearly separate, give density to the project.

A!B: How do you intend to show the collection?

Raquel Fayad is the director of the Foundation and I invited the curator Ricardo Resende as the curator responsible for showing the collection as a whole, creating exhibitions with different poetics. What to show, what to choose, why at each show. I was always very focused on developing my work, and as I didn't study art formally, for example, I didn't know that there was an American sculptor who worked with scrap metal and in a line very similar to the one I followed, John Chamberlaine.

I learned this at one of our meetings. Today I can see many interesting things in my dialogue with Ricardo. For me this is very important. 

A!B: and how will the Foundation work?

The Foundation today has two spaces. Fabrica de Arte Marcos Amaro (FAMA) in Itú, where my studio originally works. An old fabric factory, the São Pedro factory, the second most important in the state of São Paulo. And then we will develop several activities. We created an annual Program, a public notice, which selects 4 artists to intervene in the space. In this first one, they were chosen, from a jury chaired by the Curator of the Marcos Amaro Foundation, Ricardo Resende and composed of the guest curators Bitu Cassundé, Fortaleza,  Douglas de Freitas from São Paulo and Marcus Lontra from Rio de Janeiro, the artists Edith Derdyk of São Paulo, with the Arranque project, Eduardo Frota, A Queda do Céu, from Fortaleza; O EmpreZa Group Collective with the Grupo EmpreZa Factory, in Goiânia; Pola Fernandez, Hypostasis, from Itu; Regina Parra , Choreography of Survival, from São Paulo; it's the Rodrigo Sassi, Triptych, from São Paulo.

We also make residency partnerships with UNESP, with professors and artists, José Spaniol and Sergio Romagnolo, where we organize the coming to FAMA of up to 50 students who stay in a kind of residence for a week, producing and researching ephemeral sculptures.

The other space, which we are expected to open in the second half of this year, is a 100 square meter property in Mairinque, near Itu, where we are creating MESCLA, the Museum of Contemporary Latin American Sculpture, whose focus will be land-art, in the landscape, exhibitions of ephemeral sculptures. The first artist to install a project there is Marcia Pastore, who has just exhibited at MuBE in São Paulo.  

A!B: What kind of autonomy do you intend to create for this operation?

I want the project to be viable in different ways, if I acquire the space, for example, it can be a source of income for the project itself. I'm trying to make this project viable in time. The Foundation already exists as a Foundation in my will. Even though I am very young, I have a will where she is treated like another son. All artworks are not part of the estate, they belong to the foundation. There is a Fund and its financial administration provides the necessary resources for the functioning of the foundation. However, the resources come from the financial capital gain that the Fund will give and not from the main capital. This is a way to ensure that something I'm building is perpetuated. 

A!B: When does the first exhibition officially open?

June 23rd, with the exhibition The three-dimensional in the Marcos Amaro collection: front, back, top, bottom, sides, volume, shape and color, at its headquarters, at Fábrica de Arte Marcos Amaro (FAMA), in Itu.

On that day, we will also inaugurate the Sala Almeida Junior, where we will show a work that we acquired from the painter José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior, a Brazilian plastic artist, born in Itu. The painting The Model's Rest (or “of the model”) is a realistic work, produced in Paris in 1822, while the painter was studying in the city, sent by Dom Pedro II. [The painting has four versions, three of which are in private collections. One of them, the largest, is on display at the MNBA's 1882th century Brazilian art gallery, the National Museum of Fine Arts, in Rio de Janeiro, and was acquired by the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in XNUMX].

Almeida Jr. he was recognized on his return to Brazil as a portraitist of the figure of the common man, the redneck.

The show expands beyond the limits of this space. The factory gardens will be taken over by large sculptures by artists Caciporé Torres, Emanoel Araújo, Gilberto Salvador, José Resende, José Spaniol, Marcos Amaro, Mario Cravo, Mestre Didi, Sergio Romagnolo, León Ferrari, Nuno Ramos, Nelson Leirner.

A!B: Why decide to also have a gallery?

The gallery's director is Marlize Corsato, with long experience in the market and Ricardo Resende is also its Artistic Director.

A gallery helps me as a collector to follow the market, understand the partners. First, it is an investment. Even more so at a time like this, full of uncertainties. But, even for that reason, it is a way of promoting the market, creating new collectors, and also inserting or reinserting in the market some artists who are fundamental in the history of art of our country and did not acquire the necessary space. 

For example, Aguilar, whom I intend to invite to an exhibition at the gallery after having seen his latest works, which I think are incredible. Using a rather strong word, artists who were somehow marginalized. And also provoke new opportunities.

The idea is to promote contrasts, with artists like Gilberto Salvador, who has a work that is even more forceful today than he did in the 60s, at the time of the dictatorship, and younger artists like Mundano, who is originally a street artist, with a political work. . His work with the scrap collectors is excellent. I think it's important to create a permanent experimentation. A laboratory.

[Marcos Amaro is very young, he is only 33 years old and has already shown what he came for. As he himself says, “I'm a poet but I don't tear money”].

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