The distinct creative approaches in the work of Juliette de Graaf and Célio Braga converge in a captivating dance of opposites. Braga’s method reveals meticulous precision and profound thoughtfulness, while De Graaf’s work exudes an almost aggressive rawness, concealing and transforming the narrative.
In their first exhibition together an enthralling interplay of energies emerges – a dance between femininity and masculinity, interwoven harmoniously within narratives, mediums and techniques. It is this delicate intermingling that binds the two artists together, uniting their paths despite apparent contrasts.
Central to both artists works lies the body – a medium transcending the physical, a vehicle for profound connections. Within its form, memories find a dwelling, moments forever etched in the skin. These memories, ephemeral yet enduring, may evoke beauty or pain, lingering in an indeterminate state, hinting at the delicate balance of human existence.
In his second exhibition at Josilda da Conceição Gallery Célio Braga shows a selection of new works from the series ‘Portraits of Friends, Friends of Friends, Acquaintances, Lovers and Hero’s’. For this series of works the artist makes use of conventional men’s shirts in whatever color or pattern but always as variations of the conventional men’s shirt. The compositions of deconstructed men’s shirts, made with great care and patientce, produce a skin-like qualitity, complete with wrinkes, scars, stitches, holes and reparations.
He makes emotionally charged and highly layered work that stimulates our sense of touch. Themes like love, eroticism, ilness, death and faith meet in fragile compositions, while they evoke associations with reality, also have an element of abstraction, rituality, and the seriality of modernism.
His work can be seen as a reflection of the vulnerability of the body and the inevitable transience of life reflected in the passing of time.
Juliette de Graaf
Memories find a delicate refuge in the works of Juliette de Graaf, draped in concealment and revelation. Juliette’s work is a reflection of her exploration of memory – both personal and collective. Memories fade and intertwine, forming a constantly evolving narrative within us and the collective consciousness. Stories are retold and twisted, existing in a non-linear fashion. Her work embodies this transformative and temporal storytelling.
Each of her works forms a chapter in a narrative, entwined with the complexities of the personal realm – brimming with love, sensuality, and the trials and triumphs of human existence. Simultaneously, her connection to art history positions her work within a historical consciousness that is continually altered, retold and set in motion.
Invisibility and concealment weave through Juliette’s art, becoming a metaphor for the passage of time and the gradual fading of memories. The memories concealed within her art may eventually become obscured, much like hidden artifacts.