The CHERUBS OF GROTA PART II: Born in a Religious Atmosphere

Rational demons put aside, I lacked the way how to proceed with my aesthetic work, the thread to make the connection between the imagined and what could be realizable. It came to me when I was in Nice/France preparing an exhibition. I went to the so dreamed Mark Chagall Museum. After carefully going through his intense work of his biblical series, I went to an auditorium, next to the exhibition room, where I sat in silence for a while. Coming back to me, I realized that all the audience was surrounded by stained glass windows based on Chagall’s works. I will never forget that view!! The “Blue Green Mark Chagall” transported me immediately to the religious atmosphere that ultimately would give the north I needed to my project: at that very moment I had an instant and decisive insight of seeing those teenagers from the Grota Orchestra as “Cherubs”. Thus, It was born the “CHERUBS OF GROTA “!

Aesthetically several aspects were still unresolved, but the experience of the Mark Chagall Museum took me to photograph a huge number of Gothic churches, bathed by beautiful stained glass windows in several small towns and villages of the French Riviera. It was the first certainty of the project: to have in its images the stained glass windows of Gothic churches, through which the images of the cherubs of Grota would overfly.

Upon returning to Brazil and to the rehearsals with the now “cherubs” I thought I should shoot them in black and white and so I did, once I decided that the stained glass windows, with their exuberant colors would be part of the final images. Then, I made lots of impressions in B & W on 100% cotton paper, whose texture gave me the possibility of working with pencils and dry pastels on it. Therefore, I started an interference process with the dry pastel pencils directly on the images with colors that would harmonize with the desired atmosphere. After these interferences I photographed the images again and took them to the computer to work the intensity of colors arbitrated by me. Then, I started to superpose one image over the other.

Two or more overlapping images in the same space of representation, producing partial concealments, takes us away from the everyday rational reality, breaking the homogeneity of the look, not only because it interrupts the linearity and continuity of the look, but also by introducing new textures and fields that will alter our senses, pushing us to try new experiences. Each image, suffering interference from others in the same space eventually usher in a disorganization of the ordinary visuality, creating from that “chaos”, a reality beyond that which we used to live, taking us to an experimental space, away from that ready space, which is given to us beforehand.

I accepted the risk of plunging along with the “cherubs” in a new spatial relation, intending to go towards new spatial experiences, new realities. After all, to experience new realities has been the great motivation of these boys to join the String Orchestra, to venture in art projects, evolving in their social gains.

Thus, there they go, spreading their wings to an endless flight, soaring over all that was denied them, captured now by their cherub souls.

Broken winged cherubs.

Enchanted winged cherubs.

Brazilian cherubs !!!