Work Analysis – Bruno Passos

A Dois.
Bronze & Ceramic
Bronze :50cm x 28cm / Ceramic: 19cm x 17cm

Price: BRL 24,000 / $5,500

Commentary from Trevor Knapp & Adam Holzrichter.

From Adam Holzrichter:

I think immediately of Baba. Corneliu Baba was a Romanian artist known for his portraits, which employed intensely distorted anatomical representation. There’s a thing that happens to your perception of a person when their shoulders are sloped in such a way that elicits sympathy. It can be seen in many of Rembrandt’s portraits, as well. Perhaps this towering bronze woman can be recognized as a matriarchal protector on Monday, and an overbearing tyrant the Tuesday. I won’t even go into the weight of Bruno’s choices in material to depict these two (bronze and ceramic). That’s something refreshing about sculpture – if you grow tired of looking from one angle you ought to be able to turn it ever so slightly and see a completely alternate version of the same object. 

Bruno achieves this again with a hawkish nose on the ceramic figure of a man. The ease with which a thousand-yard stare is achieved makes for this deceptively simplified subject matter I’m often seeing in his work. I immediately know this thing I’m observing was created by someone who knows better than to spend countless hours gazing into arbitrary details of a story he’s telling. Features are parsed out and decided upon in such a way that leads to the most extraordinary expression without saying much of anything about life at all, to the casual viewer. Closer inspection tells me it is relief, sorrow, self-awareness, and grief being experienced at once. Something like the surrender just before reaching nirvana.

From Trevor Knapp:

I love how these two sculptures play as opposites to one another, literally in size and color, but also in their features…

The woman appears as if she is wearing this large loosely defined coat, massed out of clay and towering, yet soft in facial features, finely tuned. She has this aged awareness in her silhouette, standing tall, almost as if she is able to see what’s ahead in the future from her knowledge of the past. Strong chaos in her sculpted form leads up to the quietness in her face… and yet the more I look at her face, I see toughness in her cheekbones, her nose, her lips. I see young, but then I see old, world-weariness. Fascinating.

With the man, I see his neck hunched forward, sharp-edged as if chipped out of rock in parts. His mass below has this thinly plastered and chipped detailing that feels… planned. As if he was molded and remolded, strictly designed, even into his eyes. And his eyes have this relaxed melancholy gazing outward, out from his tired expression. And like a reflection of the woman, he holds a softness, a softness around his shoulders and chest, right before his form dissolves to chaos at its base.

It is a joy to see the masculine and feminine created as they are in yin and yang… with a sense of order and definition in the masculine… a feeling of nature and chaos within the feminine. Truly one of my favorite sculptures you created, Bruno.

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