The life and times of The Antonino Museum (in English), and articles on art and beauty
We are sad to announce the disappearance of Rita Mendes da Silva, or Dona Rita as she was fondly known, Antonino's mother, on 13th December. As a brief tribute to this gutsy woman, both naive and old as the hills, she came from a time when the survival of her five children depended on her own strength and determination, working parched fields in blazing sun with implements we only see in museums. When her husband ran off, leaving the six of them in a one-room shack in the middle of nowhere (see the slideshow here), she upped her brood and took off after him, and, eventually, found the bugger in São Paulo.
Woman Working in the Wastelands is Antonino's 2002 homage to his mother.
Another painting of her, not yet on the site, is the one shown here, entitled A Fuga em Transporte Alternativo (English title: Flight on Wheels of Dust; French: Exode sans moyens), 2004.
After yet another drought and poor crop yield, it's up to the woman, again, to carry the entire family - children, parents, pets and all - to the next makeshift solution.
Difficult, because of the next post. But I am over the moon. Due to various reasons, the Antonino Museum moved forward not an inch in 2014. Almost zero. Alban (see his work at www.help.forgetdementia.net) came and photographed the paintings properly, but size limitations prevented us from posting them (they are all very large format images for free download, but need formatting and I have not had the time or program - coming soon!...).
And then we had visitors. First, I discovered that my old friend and colleague Kate Louette's toyboy Christophe is also a talented photographer (I have to say that cus he does kick-boxing too) and has taken some very sensual, moody, earthy shots of the museum building (see http://momentarylapseofvision.blogspot.fr/2014/11/antonino-museum.html) and then, without my realizing because the alert went to another email I have not been using a lot, on departing Kate became the first person to make a donation to the museum!
Absolutely gob-smacked, and uplifted!
So Antonino and I would like to thank her as our very first spontaneous donor and lifelong Friend of the Antonino Museum.
Thank you Kate!
For those of you who read Portuguese, here are a couple of articles that recently appeared on a Brazilan art blog, Vírus da Arte & Cia (Art Virus & Co). The first article talks about Antonino's history, and the second, about his concern with wild-animal trafficking.
From facebook, with shame. Who do I thank? Minh, I think.
I cannot remember the last time I was so moved by a portrait. For the first time, a photographer has succeeded in creating an image as moving as a painting. It is absolute perfection. The minor character, in terms of position, height and area, is immense, and the main character, gaze so intently fixed outside the frame, outside our comprehension, looking at death in mariage or war, for it's hard to tell what sex the person has, pales into the background. I presume it's a female for the similarity of dress, but cannot be sure. Perhaps a young boy?
But it's the mothers' eyes and face that wipe the floor: possession and absence, devotion and "me", love, fatalism, surrender. This is Abraham relinquishing the flesh of her flesh to the gods of ages, to barbarity, to life other and away from the infant lips that gnawed her paps. This is her blood, sucked away and splattered on the slaughter-stone of life, and she knows, stupid yet understanding, absolutely her, a rock: beautiful, a husk, diamond in a dung heap, an accident of existence through a mzungu lens, mesmerizing in her silent eloquence.