Monitor Lisbon is pleased to announce Pequenas notas sobre figuração : Eugénia Mussa, Daniel V. Melim and Thomas Braida, a group show focused on contemporary figurative painting that brings into dialogue the practices of three young artists. This selection of painters is part of a long-term research of the gallery on figurative painting through the practice of young artists who are able to offer a personal and contemporary re- interpretation of the long standing tradition of this medium.
Eugénia Mussa was born in 1978 in Maputo, but moved to Lisbon at a very young age. In her figurative work the artist employs a classical technique of oil painting with a musical randomness, floating, freely, between styles, genres or pre-established paradigms. The imagery present in Mussa’s paintings come from a wide variety of references: from her own pedestrian experience of the city of Lisbon, to collected pictures in magazines, books and postcards. Another frequent source of inspiration for her paintings are stills from homemade Kodachrome videos found on youtube. All these different images, regardless from their provenance, share the ability to evoke a feeling of aligned simplicity, lightheartedness and joy; they represent individual and shared remembrances that are gone and leave a sense of sweet melancholy. This form of delightful nostalgia that imbues these memories manages to enter the canvas in the form of many layers of exuberant and fluorescent colours, that by permeating the background of the works, they allow for a visible transposition in the painting of the exact feeling that makes these memories precious.
Daniel V. Melim was born in 1982 in Madeira, he lives and works in Lisbon. Melim is a polyhedric artist, one that has never felt conten in channelling his creativity in a single discipline, in fact, throughout his career the artist has explored different forms of art : music, performance and painting among others. The two paintings present in the gallery were part of a site-specific altar, created by the artist during his residency at Ano Zero, the Second Biennial of Coimbra of 2019. The altar was composed by several oil paintings on old found wood displayed in a wooden structure. Among the figures that inhabited this altar there were peasants, children, old people, sacred plants and skeletons, which were arranged around the the two axis of the altar according to their symbolic charges, forming a complex narrative that acknowledged the existence of apparently opposing forces in life and praised for their necessary conciliation.
Thomas Braida was born in 1982 in Gorizia, Italy. He is an Italian figurative painter based in Venice. As a child he was influenced by his father, an art teacher and artist, but above all by Emilio Salgari’s adventure novels, as he recalls “He sparked my imagination. That then degenerated into painting. What was in front of me was never enough: I always pimped reality, making it more appetizing”. In fact, the content of his figurative work borrows many elements and moods from fairy tales, fantasy and myth that combine sentimentality and grotesqueness in a very startling way. The two works selected for this show, even though they do not present the fable-like anthropomorphic creatures that characterize his work, they are somehow embedded in their same enigmatic haze that blurs the viewer's perspective and transmits a sense expectancy and indecipherable ambiguity.
The exhibition Pequenas notas sobre figuração : Eugénia Mussa, Daniel V.Melim and Thomas Braida, by showing the works of three contemporary figurative painters aims at presenting different technical and thematic approaches that represent only an infinitesimal portion of the inexhaustible possibilities that figurative painting still allows.
Eugénia Mussa was born in 1978 in Maputo, but moved to Lisbon at a very young age. She occasionally returns to Mozambique, stopping over in Dubai. She studied drawing and painting at Ar.Co - Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual (2009) and has a Foundation Course in Fine Arts from City and Islington College (2002). She was selected to Anticiparte, New Talents Award (2009) and received an honorable mention at 25th Anniversary of the Mozambique Bank (2010). In Portugal she has exhibited her work at Galeria Quadrum (2017), at AnoZero, Bienal de Arte Contemporânea de Coimbra, (2019) and at Galeria João Esteves in Lisbon and in Mozambique at Núcleo de Arte in Maputo. Her works are in several public and private collections.
Daniel V.Melim was born in 1982 in Portugal. He studied painting at University of Lisbon (2006) and has a MA Applied Anthropology and Community and Youth Work graduate from Goldsmiths College, University of London (2016) and a fellowship from the Gulbenkian Foundation. He was a finalist in the 2007 EDP New Artist Award and winner of the 2011 Young Painters World Fidelity Award and shortlisted of 100 Painter of Tomorrow world project (Thames & Hudson, 2014). V. Melim developed artistic projects in Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Germany and the United Kingdom and collaborated for several years with the educational service of the Modern Art Center of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (current Modern Collection) and with private art schools in Lisbon. His works are in several collections, public and private.
Thomas Braida was born in 1982 in Gorizia. Graduated from Fine Arts Academy, Venice (2010). He was selected for Bevilacqua La Masa (2013), he was also a finalist of LUM prize (2011) and selected for 94ma Collettiva Giovani Artisti Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa (2011) and for 93° Collettiva Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa (2010). He is one of the artist represented by the gallery and has exhibited his work several times at MONITOR Rome and in art fairs in Italy and Europe.