Emerging from the smoke of the Brazilian rainforest fires, the extremely modern architecture of Oscar Niemeyr, and oppresive “art scene” of Brazil’s capital comes to us Iri Vilela. From a very young age Iri Vilela, dedicated himself to drawing and painting in the styles of fantastic realism and magic realism. Self-taught, he embraced the oil-on-canvas technique where his artistic creations lead viewers to utopian and fanciful daydreams in surreal journeys through scenarios free of technical and practical constraints. His work is the result of the disquiet of an uncomfortable and unprejudiced artist who sees the world from a perspective that transcends fictional barriers and challenges our imagination by incorporating dreamlike, symbolic and mundane nuances, stimulating fantasies with his Vilelian poetry.
His works conquered spaces in private collections in Brazil and abroad, although not well accepted in traditional Brazilian galleries, which always imposed restrictions, suggesting changes in his consolidated working method, to make it merely commercial. Despite all the displeasure at the misunderstanding of his art in Brazil, he is still in full swing at his studio in Brasilia, where he also teaches drawing and painting.
Luckily for us and for the art world outside Brasilia, Iri Vilela remains firm and strong against prejudice, an inspiration to talented artists who refuse to follow fads imposed by contemporary art galleries in small towns like Brasilia.
The train journey with shells. (Detail)
The Nude Bullfight. Oil on Canvas, 31"x62".
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