Tony Camargo's exhibition at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (MON) in Curitiba is a kind of cartography of the routes that his painting took in two decades, in which color imposes itself in the temporality of his work. Time is the challenge of the artist from Curitiba, whose work transcends the simple stage of painting, which has already traveled different paths, touching the aesthetics of advertising.

One of the artist's attempts is to integrate painting into a universe in which the multidisciplinarity of technical resources can put all the means and effects that he can capture at his fingertips. Since his beginnings in painting, Tony Camargo has already explored the combinatorial possibilities of colors in constructive and chromatic works, in popular humor, with no intention of reaching the comics, but centered on spatial concern and language.

Reality as a set up game and the irruption of languages ​​in the folds of everyday life are part of the fiction invented by him. Paintings, drawings, photographs, videos and objects form an anthology, fuel that moves Chroma and Objects Select, extensive exhibition covering 20 years of art. “Tony Camargo’s operational fronts have always been surprising due to the unexpectedness of his strategies for reinvigorating visual perception in a world saturated with photographic, television and digital images of all kinds”, writes Paulo Herkenhoff in a text for the exhibition catalog that also includes authors like Arthur do Carmo and Artur Freitas”. The scope of this bond, between the artist and the languages ​​that enable him, is evident throughout the show. In its trajectory, color opens precise veins in the mighty river that aligns itself and distances itself from a production, which sometimes mixes with the logic of advertising with the use of colors and signs without restrictions, sometimes plunges into the suburban. The videos, complementary discourses in this search for revealing languages, approach urban chaos, stir and stir society's surplus and work with residues in intermittent performances that are born, mostly, in public spaces.

The exhibition does not compartmentalize any of its phases, on the contrary, it makes everything connect, in an analogy of language, with permanent dialogue. Tony Camargo started in art with an interest in the transposition of objects from one place to another, influenced by artists such as Duchamp, Cildo Meireles, Waltércio Caldas and strongly committed to the spirit of painting. “When we look for internal pictorial problems, from something already elaborated, we arrive at something new and that is what interests me the most”.

Tony-Camargo, Decks, 2002, variable dimensions.
Tony Camargo, 2016_Lacquer, nitrocellulose, acrylic e-paint paste on MDF.

Tony Camargo's paintings have a clean surface, dense in the reading of compositions and his videos/performances approach the mundane. Somehow his works have political ingredients, which for him is an intrinsic value in the work of art. “The way I see the world, how I work with objects, how I relate to everyday life. Advertising is also a political tool and I make use of it”.

Tony Camargo, 2010 inkjet print on canvas applied in polystyrene

Much of his work has to do with his avowed admiration for the work of Philip Guston, an American abstract expressionist who used to say: “the painting is impure, and it is the adjustment of 'impurities' that forces the continuity of the painting”. Although, at times, his drawings touch the comic strip, he denies this influence. “I didn't see much graffiti either, just a lot of paintings”. Her videos bring a strong performance charge and it is with her that she creates objects. In the large room at MON, the videos, with overflowing images, are mimicked in paintings and the sounds of the various monitors are mixed with the paints of the paintings. The “noises” are all identified and the idea is to make a painting that joins them, although each piece has its autonomy. Images are linked to the real, as are all objects in the world, although there is a relationship between them. Tony Camargo “performs” in vacant lots full of rubble and this waste becomes his raw material.

The expography of Chroma and Objects Select does not separate videos from paintings, works with complementarity. The exhibition spanning two decades also shows something new for the artist. “Now, faced with so many works and with the possibility of a critical distance, I place myself as a spectator. The exhibition makes relationships that I did not see separately, it shows new things, new possibilities”. When an artist is in the production process, he doesn't give himself time to reflect on the work. “In a gallery, we work in a more restricted field, it is more difficult to have a more global view of the production, different from a museum space. In large environments, I also end up acting as a curator, choosing works to place them where and how I want”. Some works were reedited for this exhibition. “There are parts with industrial finishes that, over the years, have suffered damage when being transported from one place to another”.

The extensive exhibition includes games of luminosity, coloristic planes and works of intense experimentation. “There are series that are represented by nine works, but in total they add up to 70 works”. The artist is linked to social discourse and confesses that this political moment of censorship over artistic production naturally affects his work. The stains, the garbage, the chaotic, as social stridency are present in several works on which he tries to organize what is out of control.



“Cromica and Objects” by Tony Camargo

Until July 1, 2018 - Room 2

Special days and times

Every Wednesday free with special schedule: 10 am to 18 pm

First Thursday of the month: extended hours until 20 pm, free after 18 pm.


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