Simple and harmless? Only at first glance.
In his virile drawings Alexandre Gomes Vilas Boas deals convincingly crtitcal with the catholic orthodox church. We see biblical scenes drawn with an astonishing expressive stroke wich are converted into new meanings.
For example as in the black and white drawing Luoco da Matriz II, where one could get the impression of Jesus Christ riding on a donkey into Jerusalem.
The title "The madman of Matriz" refers clearly to the bigges and most important catholic church in Uruguay, in which the founder of the state Artigas was baptised. A further drawing is named "souls to let" and we see a man in whos body we see multipal souls.
In another drawing we see a fat man disgorging a fish. This scene instantly reminds one of the first followers of jesus the apostles who were fishermen from the lake Genezareth and who he turned into fishers of men. There is yet another relation. The drawing also relates to the story of Jona from the old testament. Three days and nights the disobedient prophete had to spend in the whales belly until he was cast back ashore. The fish is also an allegory for Jesus himself (in ancient Greek: ichthys equals fish and also Theos / god, Uios / son, Soter / redeemer) and refers to not only the last supper but also to Jesus who fed the five thousand with bred and fish.
Zynically Vilas Boas titles this drawing with Experts and places it clearly into a actual political context.
Every single of these at first glance simple and harmless drawings open a much deeper meaning woven knowledgeably by Vilas Boas to take a critical view on our cultural history, our belief as well as the present reality.
Text : Dr. Stefanie Lucci
(Image: Alexandre G. Vilas Boas)
Alexandre G. Vilas Boas