Givagomes, Florida Paulista, SP, resides in Guarantã do Norte, MT, Salve o Verde I, 2017, acrylic on canvas.

“Popular yes, never naive”. The phrase by the Bahian artist Nilson Pimenta placed on the left ear of the catalog for the 14th Bienal Naïfs do Brasil very well denotes the panorama of the exhibition, which was presented at Sesc Piracicaba until the 25th of November. Under the theme “From what escapes”, the curator's intention was to reflect on what could escape their eyes during visits to the artists' studios, which they called “studio-houses”. After all, it is within their own homes that Brazilian Naïve artists produce their works.

This edition of the Bienal Naïfs also shows that there are many questions that can escape anyone who observes the work of a popular artist, looking at him from the conception of primitivism, which reduces these artists to a label that can signify a judgment by the socio-cultural context. in which they live. Perhaps the most latent point of this in the show is the fact that many works address social and political discussions, often identity, which can often be closed only to academic environments and would be reproduced only by artists who have access to it. The naïves are far ahead on this point, clearly indicating their position on some of these issues.

Those who visited the exhibition already saw the untitled works by Arlindo de Oliveira right at the entrance that mention the occupation of Rio's favelas by BOPE. Next to them, the piece entitled Don't run I came to get your soul, also by Arlindo and also alluding to the police group, vehemently expresses the artist's opinion and his contribution to the discussion on the genocide of the poor people caused by this occupation in the hills, due to abuses committed by the military, also the UPPs and also from the armed forces, which participate in the military intervention in the Marvelous City.

There are a number of works by different artists that refer to themes raised by feminism. The most impressive was made by Alex dos Santos, an artist from Jaboticabal/SP and is entitled Violence against women, 2018. In it, the artist addresses a series of brutalities committed against women, from the bonfires of the Inquisition to the Maria da Penha Law, tracing a timeline. The artist Ana Zamaro is present with the work absolute, also from this year, in which he paints several women's faces, each with their own characteristics that escape a pattern. Her title says a lot about how Zamaro sees the issue of female aesthetics in the context of feminist discussions.

Two works by Gildo Xavier bring the LGBT theme to the fore, dealing with it through a vision of family configurations. In family portraits (2017), he paints a series of parental nuclei of different compositions, including LGBTs, also passing through indigenous, black and diverse religions, contradicting a pattern of what is labeled as “traditional Brazilian family”. The work Conquest (2017) also enters into this aspect by showing a couple of women who fulfill their dream of having a child.

These are just a few examples of how contemporary discussions are present in the repertoire of Naïf artists who have been through this edition of the Bienal held by Sesc, which was curated by Ricardo Resende, Juliana O. Campaneli and Armando Queiroz, in addition to the educational curatorship of Alexandre Araujo Bispo, and who was not naive at all.

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