How does a [woman] creative artist make an intelligent (visual) manifesto - Gretta and the creative process.
Gretta, young, beautiful, rich, elegant, married and very intelligent woman, she could be much more similar to the majority of her famous and ‘important’ colleagues, acting, so astutely, in Brazil’s visual arts.
She could, for instance, buy art magazines from abroad and be ‘inspired’ by them as at least 98% of so-called ‘Brazilian’ artists do. She could, still, make blue and naked women, saying they are “telluric, cosmic or cosmogonics”. She could go (as a visitor, of course), to Sao Paulo’s countryside, being one more “rustic” landscape painter.
If she wanted being “trendy modern” she would have the options of making circles within circles; squares inside and outside squares; sheave parallel lines as in a musical staff. She could make colorful and transparent stripes juxtaposed on a xylography. With the result, she would surely be searched by thousands of interior designers of the city. After all, those abstract color match very well with any velvet or plastic couch. She could also take the little flags from Klee as they were related to Saint John, a Brazilian saint, I think. Gretta, if she was a fascist, could scheme silently and act in the shade. Offering dinner then backbiting. With Italian wine or smuggled whisky. Gretta could do all this.
But what happens is that this girl is working while others betray and lie. Or they copy, thinking they will never be discovered. In sum, it is very easy to buy some (not all, of course) minds with a glass of whisky, any bribe, a dinner or even fake hugs and smiles among many art galleries – pardon me art boutiques – of this turbulent town, full of concentrated hate.
Gretta does not make art for interior designers, she is not terrified by the estimate price of her artworks in the market: the art Gretta makes is not for sale (so far) and this is not important. On the opposite, this valorizes her work, that foreigner art critics (they are always the first on everything) have already descovered.
Before Europe and the United States steal our Gretta from us, there is the opportunity to see her work at the Galeria Arte Global (on Alameda Santos, 1893), opening on March 9th, as a glorious solo show.
Our newspaper, O Destaque, shwith exclusivity and at first, two aspects of this exhibition. First, a photo series Gretta made of her own face (pretty, natural) with no lies, no actual or imaginary plastic surgery, as well as total distortions of a witch’s face. After the photos, she makes amazing drawings, some of them showed at this edition.
Second, the integral and simultaneous publication of this text I have written for the show’s catalogue, allowed by Raquel Babenco, executive director of Arte Global gallery.
The other “artists” copy, scheme, hate, lie, offer wine or wool-made house for hotel’s fleas, in Guarujá, the very paradise of tropical Kitsch. Gretta forgets all this frivolity and creates. She creates. A verb less and less conjugated by Brazilian “artists” concentrated between the beach of Rio de Janeiro and the ignorance (besides the $) of Sao Paulo’s spectator.
I am aware of everything. At the end, I am a journalist. As art critic I do not know any other furious and firecracker revelation among Brazil’s artists in recent years, as it is the case of Gretta. The last one is there, better and better: Antonio Henrique Amaral. So controversial, subtle and smart as Gretta. The rest (for who wants it, of course), keeps worshiping silliness of granny Paula, the foreign and unexpected leader of clay-made idols.
O DESTAQUE, ART’S – São Paulo, 16 Feb. 1976
Translation: Tálisson Melo