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Bruno Borges

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Muro Laranja, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x 150cm
Muro Laranja, 2010, oil on canvas, 120 x 150cm
For whatever reasons painters produce images—which implacably vary—this activity always demands the answer to at least one question: “What to paint?” (at least in the context of figurative painting.) This question has already been exhaustively formulated by Richter, as has another one: “How to paint?” In fact, this has been an object of recurrent resistance in contemporary art.

T-Shirt Azul, 2006, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm
T-Shirt Azul, 2006, oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm
Bruno Borges solves the first questions of painting in a simple and assumed way. As he himself says about his daily routine—“I go on looking at the signals, at the prefabs of construction, at the shadows that fall on the walls and the floors of the city, which keep changing and give me a sign of time—I go on working… step by step… I create other pictures with objects I find here and there.”

There is in him an expectant side, not without a certain resignation. There is no illusion either—not even an attempt—in his multiplicity of senses. His modesty (in the best sense) bounces against the title he gave his recent exhibition, one of the most humble genres in painting in the history of art—Still Life. Despite the apparent simplicity of this pictorial form, addressed by practically all those considered big in painting (with a special reference to Morandi,) it is something very deep and to whose meaning only few accede.

Luis fortunato Lima, 2007

Due to a lack of subject matter in painting, or interest in it, or by force of the torrent of images which we insist on pouring into the world, we talk of the lack of the pertinence of images in painting, and even the lack of pertinence of their existence … from the depths there echoes a voice saying. “… after all (!), wasn’t [painting] dead?”

Borges—“in his modesty”—states these questions on (another) level, a more simple one, and one that I think is far from those nuisances of “life or death at the crest of art.” Painting is something simpler, and more joyful. We shouldn’t think about the death of painting, just as in life we shouldn’t dwell too much on its end. Death is present and the thought of it depresses those who paint, just as it depresses those who live. Painting is not life, nor can it overlap life, but rather, it reflects life. The sense of both depends mostly—not to say exclusively–on conviction.
Sem Título, 2002, oil on canvas, 40 x 45 cm
Sem Título, 2002, oil on canvas, 40 x 45 cm

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