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The sublimes landscapes of Marcelo Moscheta
Ricardo Resende

Art Critics and Curator

In the early XIX century, artists discovered that they could paint nature as they felt it, and no longer as a simple pictorial representation.

Marcelo Moscheta, as artist from São Paulo, who lives in Campinas, must be now well accustomed to the dull landscapes in their seemingly stillness, extending farther than the ey can see in the country side of São Paulo State. eloquent, they are overwhelmed by the green of the sugar cane plantations spreading throughout the whole region. They are monotonic fields covered by a gigantic sky of a grayish blue, equally pale. Traits that bring a certain melancholy to the region, only broken when white clouds, sometimes gray, sometimes black, loom in that sky.

Amidst this “monotony” I describe, what we see in the drawings “concocted” by the artist, such as STILL, or in the ICE WHITE series, is, on the contrary, a world often times bleak and in constant transformation. A poetic climate stalking us in the terrifying silence of these drawn landscapes, where art mixes up with experiences lived.

In “Sky Place” or in “ Still”, the artist repeats a romantic gesture as did the English artist Alexander Colzens (c.1717-1799), that of looking at clouds and observing their movement and transformation.

Clouds arte ethereal formations of water particles suspended on air. With these deawings from memory of what was gazed in nature, Moscheta tell us of our transitory existence on Earth. when we observe these drawings attentively, and those from the other series, we feel that we are not looking only at a still picture, but at a landscape of which major element is in a slow and constant movement, almost dead. It is as if there was no moment in there, only the inconspicuous notion of the time between one and another moment, between a still image and another. This is how we see, for instance, how movement is built in movies.

An aesthetic, which ends up bringing a certain wondering regarding the representation of what is seen; as is the reality of the world we live in. It is not possible to differentiate what was imagined and what was really experienced by the artist. The drawings confuse our perception of what is true and what is fantasy in these silent landscapes.

The results of his art, bringing about perfect images/drawings of a world between what is imagined and what is real, a dichotomy that resembles a black and white photography, of those crude images on which we can see the granules of color on the image. As if they were quivering views, captured by the photogrtaphy’s mechanical eye, from a world that slowly dematerializes, unseen by our contemporary undersatanding (misundersatanding?) of passing time.

This results provides it with a sublime sense, such as the one seen during the romanticism. Those are distant views, which in the analogy of this late XVII and early XIX centuries’ artistic movements could represent paradise.

Nevertheless, what paradises would the Moscheta’s one be? In his panoramic views there seems to be no place for man. What we see are desolate and hostile natural environments to our presence. A drama only seen in its symbolic sense on the turbulent skies and choppy seas of William Turner’s paintings (1775-1851); this other English painter who, at the highlight of European romaticism, eloquently exposed the worldly ‘fears’ of his time.

Marcelo Moscheta’s landscapes bring back emotions that have been dormant in the virtuality of the contemporary world, where we live mediated by digital images, without materiality. The artist reclaims the artisanal and careful crafting in his drawings. A true physical work, when he bends over the surface of a PVC sheet supporting his images, and patiently crates his art. Graphite drawings (or paintings) are bulky results of a complex artistic process, which happens in different stages.

The “photographic” images crop up from the clearing of a surface, initially covered by graphite, that turns into a thick layer of powder that settles over the plastic support, without however, attaching to it. Following, it is carefully removed/erased with an eraser, resulting in clear and dark shadowy areas forming these suspended and silent places that dwell in our memory.

The artist really allows us to contemplate a mysterious world on the drawing plan, frm wich we would be detached by the void that pushes us from the wall and the other side we live in, as observers and nothing more.