BARBARO BARROCO / Thiago Martins de Melo

The power of art resides in it’s potential to rewrite history and open the doors to new perspectives that enrich us as spectators and force us to reflect as individuals. Influenced by the spirit of the Mexican Muralists and their ideals to preserve Pre-Hispanic traditions and evidentiate the abuse of colonialism and capitalism in society, the work of Thiago Martins de Melo (São Luis, Brazil, 1981) is permeated by symbolisms and metaphors that create a strong narrative from a sociopolitical critique point of view that, beyond glorifying chaos, seeks to restore the values in society and its ancestral roots.   The pictorial compositions of Martins de Melo are distinguished by their compelling content that reflects an internal struggle to express an inconformity towards the abuses of authoritarianism. In aesthetic terms, the baroque invaded Latin America to set up a grandiose end ecclesiastic perspective that was characterized by the use of plausible elements, a theatrical style that exaggerated emotions and an excessive tendency towards pictorial realism. One century after the conquest at the hands of the Europeans, the baroque is adopted by society and revered as the maximum aesthetic expression. Through “Barbaro Barroco” Martins de Melo proposes an appropriation of the baroque style, from it’s ideals to it’s aesthetic qualities, to pose a social transformation that goes hand in hand with the state of inconformity his natal Brazil is currently in.   If the purpose of the baroque was the glorification of the catholic religion and the submission of society, what would be its antithesis? Martins de Melo questions the machiavellian principles of the baroque to reflect them upon the society it sought to subdue, bestowing the protagonist role to the oppressed and the hunger for justice. Throughout this concept intrinsic relations between Brazil and Mexico are be revealed, both countries have ancestral traditions that were corrupted by the Europeans and nowadays their progress is threatened by the abuse of politics and corruption that go hand in hand with power. The purpose of Martins de Melo’s “Barbaro Barroco” is to rescue the mysticism and values in pre-colonial societies that went hand in hand with nature and wisdom through a latent dialog that can be disseminated between several perspectives. Creating a bridge between time and space, the concept of this exhibition invites us to reflect on the weight of the past and the repercussions of an uncertain future.