Carlos Dias: Inquisitive Creativity

fluoro spoke with Brazilian self-taught artist and musician Carlos Dias. His energy, curious creativity and organic approach to his art shone through.

Dias started his career creating posters for shows, tapes, CD covers, publications, and stickers, which he distributed throughout the city and to friends. Painting on canvas and wood came as a consequence of these early practices, later expanding to other media and formats, such as murals, installations, drawings, and videos.

His inspiration is found in a range of places from ordinary objects from his surroundings, nature and publications from the pop, kitsch, mystic, and underground universes. From these perhaps “normal” sources, his deeply inquisitive nature allows him to activate creativity.

Current exhibiting his work at Galeria LOGO in São Paulo, Dias presents a selection of recent paintings and video works. Titled Acessos, the exhibition is inspired by the speed of information in the contemporary world, enhanced by the intensity of the Internet. In Acessos, Dias explores the influence of the world wide web in his paintings and videos, which were not only created from online references, but also should be disseminated on social media sites.

(f) How does the title of the exhibition relate to the Internet’s influence on your work?

(CD) Superposition of layers, they are like millions of open windows. Unfinished and disconnected talks often arise anxieties that are only healed by the act of painting.

I live near the beach, away from big cities, but I interact with my friends and colleagues who live in São Paulo most of the time through the Internet, social media and mutant media. But I also use forgotten things that can again be accessed, such as LAN houses, telephones, public phones, and all other forms of communication.

The time for painting is the time to disconnect, time to access other things.

(f) How does your background in music continue to influence the style of your work? 

(CD) Comparing a work is very gratifying, the way to think about things and to solve them… a song, its beginning, middle, and end are accessible to anyone who listens to it (as in a text). The painting has a final result; the beginning, middle, and end are in the process.

In a painting I can superimpose layers to create some harmony in such chaos. Touching, composing and painting are all the same thing. We are the ones who complicate things with our theories.

(f) What do you hope viewers will take away from your exhibition?

(CD) I deliver my work and try not to expect anything. My work is no longer mine as soon as it reaches someone else’s eyes. It is only in this moment that it becomes an artwork.

Once the work is finished my part is done, whether people like the work or not. I don’t feel the right to expect anything, but being a little bit more sensitive I only hope it can move the public in any way. 

(f) What characteristics/locations of São Paulo have had the greatest influence on your work?

(CD) People’s relationships, the ugly faces on the subway, the beautiful faces on Friday early afternoon, ordinary things, daily life, the accumulation of things to do, Museu de Arte de São Paulo’s architecture (specially the empty space underneath it) and traditional places from old São Paulo that still resist (like Largo da Batata).

I could cite a thousand places that have inspired me and continue to do so. The chaos in which this city moves…the orange colour of pollution in the sky… good and bad stuff. I cannot drive, so I’ve always walked a lot and the paths – wherever they take you – are the best part of things.

Dias will continue to work in his eclectic and organic way, following the ethos that “the future is the past inverted.”

His exhibition runs until Saturday 9 August 2014 at Galeria LOGO in São Paulo, Brazil.

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