By: Reginaldo Marinho
Visiting the studio of Clovis Junior is equivalent to a dip in the northeastern culture. His paintings reveal the deep, diverse cultural traits of Brazil, marked by the fusion of cultures brought by Portuguese settlers with African slaves and native indigenous population, a summary of the popular imagination. The core elements of these early cultures remain alive in the daily life of the population, particularly in the Northeast.
The work of Clovis Junior synthesizes all. The mythical and folkloric characters come to life on his canvases. The string literature is one of his sources of inspiration. Through it, saints, angels, mirth and secular traditions design the fabulous world of the Brazilian Northeast imagination. His art contains the collective unconscious and religious creatures drawn from legends and stories throughout the generations.
The visual impact of the Clovis studio causes astonishment in those who visit, whether Brazilians or foreigners; so much so that in the summer of 2010, two Portuguese teachers from the Valencia College went to his studio and were delighted with the uniqueness and richness of his work, with the degree of symbolism contained therein, and the synthesis of Brazilian culture that his art expresses. It was the beginning of a cultural exchange that extends to today.
The color accentuated by the sharp light of the tropics leads us to a world we can not see in everyday life, but which is present in the essence of each of us. The colors are very intense and bright. The plant and animal species – animals of the land, air, and sea – and mythical figures populate his canvases and transport us to a fantasy universe.
Talking about the work of Clovis Junior, Matheus Nachtergaele, actor and film director, said: “When I got into this studio, I was transported from the real world to a surprising world, a pictorial tradition of Brazil, which has to do with northeastern masters of sculpture, printmaking, drawing and line, with a color I had never seen from a Brazilian artist. It has a half Disneyland thing in the work of Clovis. It is as if the northeastern culture was painted with the colors of a Disney fantasy world.”
Clovis Junior’s work is not so far from Disneyland. Every year, he is invited by the Valencia College (Florida) to conduct workshops, lectures, and exhibitions for students of the university. In the presentation of the album that accompanied the recent exhibition on the campuses of Valencia College, teachers Richard Sansone and Steven Cunningham wrote the four hands: “… Master Clovis causes the baroque ecstasy in his art, an art that shines with birds, animals, fishes, fruits, trees and angels that naturally coexist in a harmony of bright colors, striking colors, but that never shock or disturb. The purity of the artist’s inspiration goes through bottomless eyes, through endless curves, colors without limit, and pacifies the space around it. In the naïve art of Master Clovis Junior there is an explosion of colors and creatures sharing the joyful balanced ecosystem.”