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Exhibition Catalogue: Neves Torres Paintings | 16/04/2012

My first contact with the paintings by Neves Torres gave me the feeling that I was in front of work by an artist from another planet, different from where we live. The calm colours, landscapes with lakes, mountains, animals and (once in a while) people with faces of animals, all led me to believe that the artist was surely a countryside man. I was wrong, but only knew when I read on his file that he lives in the city of Vitória, in Espírito Santo. He deserved and won the acquisition prize which, as I later discovered, surprised himself and also his family. This was his first participation in an exhibition. This was 2010 and the venue was the Brazilian Naïfs Biennial promoted by SESC in Piracicaba. I was on the jury and, together with two colleagues, had the difficult task of choosing the first prize recipient among some 800 work projects that were made available to us… a thankless and arduous task! I returned from Piracicaba decided to meet him. I had to know him to understand his paintings. I invited two friends to go with me, and we all set out on this small adventure that filled my head imagining things about Neves Torres’ way of life (I can’t call him just Neves, and not even Torres…). His son Francisco was waiting for us at the airport and took us straight to his home where his father, artist Neves Torres, was waiting. A beautiful family, structured, close-knit and very happy with the sudden conquest of the patriarch. The story is simple. Father and son were working as builders, and the son painted for pleasure and also as a painter’s assistant. When the father retired, concerned, the son bought some canvases, paints and brushes and gave them to his son as a distraction. However, the father’s paintings were a pleasant surprise, and he decided to send two of them to Piracicaba, where Neves Torres came out a winner. After this first contact, I decided to select and purchase many of his works, as I always do when I meet a new artist. He would paint, then send them to me, and I kept some and returned others. His work, however, started to grow in such a way that I started to find difficulty in returning the poorer works. Well, the time came to put them on show. Tiago Mesquita felt the same enthusiasm on his first contact with the painters, and this was reinforced by the visit to the artist’s home in Vitória. With the decision made, the gallery had the visit of Hervé Chandès, head of the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, who came over to select some artists and their respective works to participate in the Histoires Vraies (True Stories) exhibition, which shall open at the company headquarters in Paris on 13 May 2012. Among many others, he chose six paintings by Neves Torres who thus started his career with an individual exhibition in São Paulo and a group exhibition in Paris! We, from the Estação Art Gallery, feel happy to be able to share this special moment with you.

Vilma Eid

Galeria Estação