Visual Confidences

Mônica Rubinho is so keen on the poetic element of things that she is capable of finding bird nests while taking a walk through the streets of São Paulo. Or maybe she will find unusually shaped branches, which, once she has scraped and polished with the patience of a carpenter of visual signs, will turn into a three-dimensional expansion of her drawings.

In such a subtle context, details become the part that sets off the remembrance of the whole. Just like that pearl from the indelible memory being caught with a small silver spoon (another repository of time). Or the ghostly record of the shadow of a leafy tree.

Everything invites to a very close look, in the same range as the intimate confidences or invocations of what has already been lived. Few works are in a larger format. And even in them a certain chamber-like quality remains: they must be observed from a close viewpoint, so that their sinuous pattern of drawings and embroidery can be perceived almost as if its texture could be heard. Thus, it will become apparent that the medium is part of the artistic meaning and cannot be dissociated from it.

What Mônica brings to this exhibition has evolved from a dense repertoire, built along nearly two decades. All along, she has been redefining common things of daily life, turning them into poem-objects or poem-installations. She has now focused on things that resurface from the dark waters of forgetfulness to cause pain by touching the nerve of posthumous hours.

The artist's creative process now incorporates even more etching procedures. Besides the textures and covering procedures obtained by shooting jets of glass, Mônica has begun to exploit stamped images. In areas where the paint is thicker, the stamps have the velvety black appearance of metallic etching.

The present collection gets beauty from the inexorable perception of the absence that stems from a place called "nearly today," meaning a place out of time, away from earthly contingences. Something immaterial, forever suspended. We can evoke it, but we can no longer inhabit it. These are tissues related to absence, like handkerchiefs, or shrouds.

Angélica de Moraes
May 2010

* Translation by: Leonardo Thierry and Camila Thire [special thanks for you]