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Chico da Silva: Sacred Connection, Global vision

The universe of fantastic beings from imaginary visions

The Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo – BUT/SP, institution of Department of Culture and Economy of the State of São Paulo Creative, presents the exhibitionChico da Silva: Sacred Connection, Global vision“, under the curatorship of Simon watson with, approximately 61 paintings that pervade his recurring themes from the artist's imaginary vision such as fantastic fish and birds in addition to mythical creatures and dragons, already characterized as "vivid and hallucinatory visions, rooted in Amazonian cosmologies and ranging from folk and spiritual figures to anthropomorphic plants and animals.”




With unparalleled style, the works of Chico da Silva, “represented by creatures in bright natural environments, are known for bringing a connection between the sacred and the natural”, says curator.

Francisco da Silva (1910-1985), known as Chico da Silva, was a Brazilian artist of indigenous descent. At the end of adolescence, he left his home in Acre, in the Amazon region, and moved to Fortaleza (EC), where did you live the rest of your life. Since early, Chico painted fantastic creatures on the walls of fishermen's houses. It was in the decade of 1940 that the Swiss art critic Jean-Pierre Chabloz discovered his visionary work in Brazil; and it was chabloz, emigrant from war-torn Europe, who first introduced Chico to paint and paper.

The critic hailed the paintings of Chico da Silva as a pure manifestation of Brazilian visual art and, later, became a supporter of the artist's works. to life of Chico da Silva was a complex seesaw between international fame – celebrated at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and in addition to numerous exhibitions throughout Brazil and Europe – and the struggles against alcoholism and mental instability, which at one point required a long hospitalization. In your later years, Chico da Silva lived on the homeless frontier. Died in 1985, at the age of 75 years, and in the years following his death the recognition of his important artistic production fell into obscurity.




One of the characteristics of the works of Chico da Silva is that his drawings and paintings appear spontaneously, at the moment if your creation, like involuntary impulses of your imagination. The artist had no formal influence from other styles., much less from painting schools. your traits, which in the beginning were made with coal, impressed by the richness of details and abstraction. were dragons, flying fish, mermaids, menacing figures of great density and forms. legend painter, national folklore, everyday life and fantastic beings.

“For a long time his paintings were despised as simple-minded folk art.. However, times have changed and, in recent years, after a global pandemic and increased awareness of the depredation of the environment, the visionary creatures of the fantasy universe of Chico da Silva reveal to us the sheer power and wonder of our planet. — both its fauna and its flora”, define Simon watson.

Sacred Connection, an overview” displays the imagery of Chico da Silva with chimerical creatures that often appear devouring themselves or in combat stance. “This is a universe composed of scenes that mix fables and popular Amazonian cosmologies from the north and northeast of Brazil, representing a full flowering of the sophisticated line and vibrant colors used by the artist, that refer to the inner spirit of the portrayed creatures and ourselves, human spectators”, says Watson.

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The museum's entrance gallery features a salon-style installation, a “pool” of the artist’s fish paintings, suggesting an immersion in an aquarium. Then, in the exhibition space, the screens will be divided into two themes: one of mythical creatures and the other of birds and other winged creatures.



“In the context of the global crisis, devastation of the planet and the emotional detachment of human souls, numbed by digital distractions, Today's audiences crave visionary art that helps them remember the vitality of the natural world that sustains our lives.. The exhibition "Chico da Silva: Sacred Connection, Global vision” will include an online catalog of scholarly essays to be published in early January 2023.”Simon watson

  • Contemporary LIGHT Project

Contemporary LIGHT is a program of contemporary art exhibitions that unfolds into diverse cultural events and actions, public and private. Developed by the curator Simon watson, the project, currently, is based at the Museum of Sacred Art of São Paulo. in this space, Contemporary LIGHT features themed exhibitions by guest artists, in order to establish conceptual and material dialogues with works from the institution's historical collection.

Although strongly focused on the current Brazilian art scene, Contemporary LIGHT is committed to a variety of practices., cultivating partnerships with performing artists and organizations that produce art events.

Exhibition: “Chico da Silva: Sacred Connection, Global vision

Artist: Chico da Silva
Curated By: Simon watson

Opening: 12 November – Saturday – 10am to 2pm
Period: from 13 November to 08 January 2023

Local: Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo || MAS / SP
Address: Avenida Tiradentes, 676 -Light, São Paulo (Tiradentes station of subway)
Parking lot (optional input) – Dr Street. Jorge Miranda, 43 (subject to capacity)
Tel.: 11 3326-5393 - Additional Information
Timetables: From Tuesday to Sunday, from 09 às 17h (entry allowed until 4:30 pm)

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