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“The Little Big World of Flavio Papi”

Retrospective of more than 60 Papi's career years, gathers drawings, paintings, sculptures and models

“O Pequeno Grande Mundo de Flavio Papi” began to be built very early, in childhood, when I was already producing models and mini sculptures. At six years old, started drawing with Augusto Rodrigues, at the “Little School of Arts in Brazil”, and soon after with Ivan Serpa, MAM, of the 7 at the age of 12 years.


Your know-how in architecture, since in addition to being a plastic artist and model maker, he is also an architect, greatly favored his smaller-scale projects; today, Flavio Papi is considered the greatest Brazilian model maker, listing an extensive and reputable list of works for advertising, film and television (Tv Globo, the defunct Manchete and Record).

On 9 February, “The Little Big World of Flavio Papi”, makes a retrospective about its trajectory of more than 60 years -, gathering drawings, paintings, sculptures and models, curated by Dinah Guimarães, at Centro Cultural Correios RJ.


Among the most curious models, are the one from the “Teatro” of the telenovela Mandala (Tv Globo), “Bathroom”, created for the clip of the group “Paralamas do Sucesso”, directed by Andrucha Wadington and winner at MTV Awards Brazil, in 96. They are also highlighted in exhibition the official model of Rio 2016 and the recent series “Floresta” (quite timely in the current moment of devastation of the Amazon), created for an advertising piece about Environment Day.

In addition to ancient mini sculptures, Recent sculptures with an ecological theme will also be part of this exhibition., the destruction and rebirth of the planet, as well as themes related to human violence; the work for the feature “Other stories”, by Pedro Bial, and “Lili Carbine”, by filmmaker Lui Farias.


Models used in clips for rock bands and music shows for the program “Fantástico” with artists like Djavan, Martinho da Vila, Zizi Possi, Angela Maria, among other stars and for the program “Trapalhões” will also be exposed.

The exhibition according to the curator, Dinah Guimaraens (Associate Professor PPGAU/UFF)

Is art capable of imaginarily transporting the spectator to a parallel universe?? The work of Flávio Papi is inserted, undeniably, in a transcendent creativity, that succeeds in decoding new information by introducing foreign elements (“noises”) in everyday data.

It is here possible to perceive a capital distinction between “formalized art” (art created by artists) and “art in the rough” (human ability to aesthetically enjoy objects or natural phenomena such as twilight)? The current retrospective reveals eclectic artifacts, that blend artisanal values ​​from the art of the past with a radical aesthetic rupture.

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Artistic pieces created from models with mixed technique (wood, mdf, acrylic, plastic, paper, wire, PVC, plastic, polyurethane, resin, plaster, acrylic or automotive paint) symbolize intuitive works, spontaneous, without project. Fleeing from the naive premise of works whose ease is disguised under the idea of ​​the difficult, the exhibition reveals drawings, paintings, sculptures and models produced from the artist's childhood to the present, in more than 60 years of uninterrupted work.

Flávio Papi began drawing with Augusto Rodrigues at the Escolinha de Artes do Brasil and, then, with Ivan Serpa at MAM-Rio. Mockups, mini sculptures and original drawings of the years 1960 are in the exhibition, next to recent ecologically themed sculptures, destruction and rebirth of the planet, as well as themes related to human violence.

Your artistic hand, in a surreal gesture, expresses the human creation/destruction of the planet and the hope of resuming the green common good, with the massive presence of an ecology that can redeem us in this terrible moment of Brazilian environmental crisis in the Amazon. Emphasis is placed on models for advertising, film and television, like those made for soap operas: "THEATER", from the soap opera MANDALA, next to works for TV GLOBO, Record and the defunct Manchete, in addition to films such as “Other stories”, of Pedro Bial and “Lili Carbine”, by Lui Farias.

Models used in video clips for rock bands and music shows for the program “FANTÁSTICO” are added, with artists like Djavan, Martinho da Vila, Zizi Possi, Ângela Maria and the “TRAPALHÕES” program. The model of the “BATHROOM” for the group “PARALAMAS DO SUCESSO” stands out., winner of the best video clip of the year (1996) at the MTV Awards Brazil and directed by Andrucha Waddington.

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Deriving from a family of plastic artists such as Luiz Alphonsus and Domingos Guimaraens, was his work influenced by the poetry of Alphonsus de Guimaraens Filho, Afonso Henriques Neto and Augusto de Guimaraens Cavalcanti, owing its aesthetic of connoisseurship to the excellent milliner Sônia Papi, your mother, to the good taste and writings of Aunt Hymirene Papi de Guimaraens, to the sculptures and poems of uncle Luiz Papi and to the essential support of brother Pedro Papi. It's about having an eye and taste, for good taste is a timeless judge before which works appear, waiting for judgment…

Learn more about Flavio Papi

Born in Rio de Janeiro in June 1954, Flávio Papi graduated in Architecture from FAU-UFRJ. on your resume, There are Modeling courses taught in the 1990s. 80 MAM. In 1982, worked for two years in New York at Maloof Architectural Models. Returning to Rio de Janeiro, returned to teach courses at the IAB, E.A.V. (Parque Lage) and in his Atelier, the Labas.

Since then, produces makes models for architecture, Cinema, Tv, Photography, Advertising, Engineering, Music, Graphic arts. Among its main projects, The 100 years of Oscar Niemeyer, the exposition about the 50 years in Brasilia with the work of Lúcio Costa, Burle Marx, Petrobras, commercials for Skol and Motorolla, and projects for TV Globo and TV Record (mockups of soap operas and series).  


“The Little Big World of Flavio Papi”
Opening: 9 February, farm, the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Visitation: from 10 of February to 2 April 2023
Curated By: Dinah Guimarães
Local: Cultural Center Correios RJ
Address: Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 20 - Center – RJ
Time: Tuesday to Saturday, from 12:00 to 7:00 pm
Free entrance

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