There is no explicit head, and therefore it is the exhibition of the head. When there is no head in a painting, but only the remainder of the body, then we are certain that this painting only shows the head, only points towards the head, to what is not there, to the mystery, to what is hidden, to the crime. An absence is always a crime, and we must therefore look at Mário Vitória’s paintings as evidence of crimes, absences, disasters, exuberant colours that distract the eye from the problem, from what unsettles us, from the absence, the abduction.
A head is missing because it was abducted.
And we may see feet but not the rest, we may see a dream but not reality; and it will always be that way. In some paintings we see only half, and the missing half promotes the detective eye, the intriguing eye that wants to find clarity. But there is no clarity; there is only intrigue, a narrative. An intriguing intrigue; a narrative that wants to be clarified.
In other paintings it is almost the reverse process: it is all there, but they represent two overlapping worlds – what we see is the remainder of a dilution of two worlds – while in some paintings there is only half, the rest is missing. Other paintings are somewhat twofold – two or even more worlds – and here we enter the dream; a realm that requires analysis, separation, cutting.
So, either we find the part that was cut, which was not shown to us. Or, conversely, we cut, sort, analyse, try to understand the various worlds – the liquid brothers that became one (because that is the dream: substances with various colours and different forms that are strangely displayed as a unit, as if they had already been born multiplied).
Bicycles and wings; apparitions, visitations, hand painting the hand that paints; landscapes that do not have colours from this world and colours that seem to take things that are not from this reality. A head that internally spilled paint; sometimes, it is exactly that: a flood.
There are also men who tell secrets to animals (as in the work “Pretérito Perfeito”). In fact, the animalistic being is always in control, the animalistic being dominates the separate form. As if animals and what is natural were the best of confidants; those that can be entrusted with the secret: animals, trees, mountains, hybrid landscapes – this is nature as the being that knows how to listen. In Mario Vitória’s paintings there are no secrets amongst humans. Humans are too obvious and explicit – as if they did not know how to keep secrets.
So, in essence, man has something to say in the beast’s ear: we are like you; perhaps this is the most important whisper. We are like you seems to be a frequent occurrence in Mário Vitória’s paintings.
Above all, this is what Mário Vitória does: impossibilities with colour, or in other words: provide the impossible with colour – this is definitely one of the whispers that hangs over this exhibition.
(translated by Ana Andrade)
Gonçalo M. Tavares, April 2017