Rio Setecentista
Year: 2013
Technique: Oil and Acrylic on canvas.
Size: 310 x 200 cm
Instituto PIPA’s collection

Arjan Martins

Rio Setecentista

Arjan Martins’ 3-meter-by-2-meter canvas shows us a significant physical gesture present in the act of painting on large surfaces, representing historical moments clashed with diverse perspectives of such periodicity. These are some of the possible reflections when looking at the “Rio Eighteenth Century” painting acquired by the PIPA Institute and exhibited in one of Villa Aymoré’s spaces.

The work portrays a specific historical period of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the eighteenth century, which is when it becomes the capital of the Vice Kingdom of Brazil, but this is not the only displacement present on the screen. From the symbols that refer to maps and travel we are led to think about the Africa-America route, which are the continents represented on the plane, with a highlight to the African continent that is on a larger scale than the American. In the eighteenth century Rio, the relationship between these two territories tells not only a story of trafficking enslaved people, but of European colonial domination over both. One clue to thinking about the work is to ask: what inverted story, like the caravel and crown, is the artist trying to tell us?

Arjan Martins is a Rio-based artist born in 1960. He was the winner of the PIPA 2018 Prize and PIPA Popular Vote 2018 and had already been nominated for an award in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. His art background has been diverse since the 90 which is when he also begins to exhibit his works. In 2005 was winner of the Projectiles of Contemporary Art Award, FUNARTE, Gustavo Capanema Palace in 2005; in 2007 he was awarded a travel grant from the Goethe Institute, Germany and visits the Documenta XVII in Kassel, Minster Skulptur Projects, Berlin, Germany; and in 2010 is invited to join The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program project in New York, United States.


Translation from: Lorena Brito.

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