light gazing, ışığa bakmak

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rigo 23

Rigo, nascido Ricardo Gouveia, é pintor, muralista e artista político nascido na Ilha da Madeira. Emigrou jovem para os Estados Unidos e estudou no San Francisco Art Institute obtendo, em 1991, o BFA e. em 1997, o MFA na Stanford University. Reside em São Francisco, California. É particularmente conhecido na comunidade de São Francisco por ter pintado sinais públicos de “sentído único” em ruas principais da cidade. É um dos fundadores do Colectivo Clarion Alley Mural Project e foi membro activo até 2006. Participou com diversas instalações na Bienal de Liverpool. É considerado por alguns críticos e curadores, pertencente à primeira geração de artistas saídos da San Francisco Mission School. Desde 1984, Rigo utiliza dois dígitos do ano como parte do seu nome, p.ex. “Rigo 23", em 2003.

Este é também o texto que descreve Rigo na Coleção Berardo que tem três obras deste artista madeirense, agora californiano, imagino que seja o texto da Colecção Berardo que tenha sido utilizado na wikipédia.

Rigo 23, em entrevista: "There are potentially as many roles for art in our society as there are artists. In fact we live in such a pluralist and overstimulated environment that there are even different societies being addressed by different artists. The type of role I see for myself is to remain part of the open and sensitive strands of whichever society I'm mostly engaged with. As artists we argue for the consideration and acknowledgement of cultural phenomena that might otherwise be overlooked. As artists we are communicators, and for me there is no bigger thrill than to communicate with as varied an audience as possible."

Outra biografia, esta do SF MOMA:
"Rigo came to the Bay Area to study art from his native Madeira Island, Portugal. He received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991 and his MFA from Stanford University in 1997. Rigo has been awarded public commissions including murals for the San Francisco International Airport, the Gerbode Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. He creates images that are direct comments on culture and society. His San Francisco murals One Tree, Innercity/Home, and Sky/Ground have made him a popular spokesperson for urban residents. Rigo was a 1999 SECA Award recipient at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and has shown his work extensively in the Bay Area as well as internationally. He is represented by Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco. "

Rigo prefers to follow his own Direction, um excelente artigo do SF Gate:
The signature work of Rigo 98 is not inside SFMOMA but just outside, on two walls of the adjacent Williams Building. Down the east wall a huge painted arrow says ``Ground'' and points in that direction. Up the south wall the arrow says ``Sky'' and points up.

Both arrows are painted black and white, offset by bold stripes in the fashion of street signs.

``People are trained to look at them for instructions, so it follows a good delivery system,'' says the artist, now called Rigo 99. His name advances with the year, as it has since he arrived as Ricardo Gouveia from Madeira Island off Portugal and reinvented himself as Rigo 85, wall muralist.
Working mostly South of Market, he uses traffic-sign language and script, which he describes as ``official iconography that I am self-appointed to use.''
As a street artist, adding life to bleak buildings, Rigo has painted about 20 walls, either on small stipends from the landlord or by covering the cost himself.

``I like the direct access of it,'' he says. ``It's addictive. I walk around and see a bare wall, and the juices start flowing.''

At 32, he is finally being paid for his imprint. He's just been commissioned to create a mural for the concrete exterior of the Berkeley Art Museum. He's thinking about prisons and computers, ``the two fastest- growing industries in California,'' he says.

The two-sided mural next to SFMOMA was made with a $30,000 private grant. Rigo approached it as he always does, by walking in the vicinity to get a feel for political undercurrents.
The Williams building is historic and must be preserved, but a huge condo complex is scheduled to be built around it. The sky will be raised and the ground dropped when construction crews arrive to follow Rigo's bold directions.
``It's addressing the development in this area,'' he says, ``where the sky begins farther up.''
At nine stories, it is his tallest work, and Rigo is afraid of heights. He works from a swing stage, the kind dropped for window cleaners. It is kitted out with a drop line, level and paint roller. He diagrams each piece in his Excelsior district studio. Once he gets on the scaffold, he works daybreak to dark to finish as quickly as possible and maintain the element of surprise.

For his SECA project, Rigo climbed higher still, to the top of the Pac Bell skyscraper, which looks down on the back of SFMOMA, west across Yerba Buena and out to Twin Peaks. He painted a canvas mural of that cityscape. Included, like little hidden pictures, are several of Rigo's other murals.

The canvas, called ``Looking at 1998 From the Top of 1925,'' covers one wall of his room at SFMOMA. On the opposite wall is a California Bear flag with the bear cut out. This flag desecration might infuriate native Californians if it weren't so spot- on true. The grizzly bear on the flag has been driven near extinction and is headed for a door marked ``Emergency Exit.''

That conveys Rigo's sense of irony. He started by copying advertising, and now he's noticed the advertisers are copying him. ``They're using the same strategy I myself was appropriating,'' he says, ``so it's hard to be upset. But it's amazing how fast things are co-opted.''

"One of my favorite San Francisco artists named Rigo did this piece. He also did the most excellent public art piece in 1995 called One Tree. You can view it here: here. This one lonely tree is situated in a fairly industrial part of town, warehouses and freeway entrances abound. I love coming across it when I drive in that part of the city. " (em super hero design)

É muito curioso encontrar este artista português a mudar a paisagem em São Francisco. Mais, saber que pertence a uma corrente artística americana, afinal um país de adopção. Ricardo Gouveia andou no liceu na Madeira mas frequentou depois o ensino superior artístico em São Francisco, minha cidade americana favorita. Aqui está em casa, aqui é exposto e aqui recebe bolsas para poder desenvolver o seu trabalho. Esse trabalho, ironicamente, inclui uma crítica impiedosa ao país que o acolhe. No contexto de um recente texto sobre imigração/integração, devo afirmar e reafirmar que os Estados Unidos são de facto um grande país. E do trabalho de Rigo 23, gostei mesmo muito.

Rigo Artwork, Painting by the Numbers
A conversation with Rigo'00
In Full Site: Rigo '99
This Space for 'Huh?'

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