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PORTRAIT

Portrait

Antonio Pessoa
Portrait
 

Now What? Antonio Pessoa unpredictable as his reputation heralds, comes up with a rather mysterious canvas, somehow suddenly breaking away from the series of spiritual-oriented artworks he has been presenting lately. PORTRAIT, acrylic on canvas, Antonio Pessoa 2007, stands out of the artist's latest line of work, with a title and a touch of art expression reminding his late nineties oeuvre. Visiting Pessoa's studio in the first week of November precisely during the making of PORTRAIT, I asked him as politely as I possibly could what was going on. The artist sits in front of me and without any beating about the bush preambles, tells me he needed urgently to demystify someone we both knew, searching for logical evidence and accurate clues in order to explain through art expression and very particularly to himself the true nature and deep motivations of the eccentric character represented in PORTRAIT, his inherent complex of attributes plus his restless actions and reactions. Once identified Portrait's heart and soul, I'm quite sure the artist from that step on is having so much fun, now able and available to play the game, hanging out provided with the third vision of perception and thereby watching whoever is behind this abstract painting, articulating his focus and looking beyond the surface, deep, above and below, defenitely seeing a whole lot more than what any viewer eventually shall see whatever, whoever the image truly manifests and represents. Once again the superior mirage of the natural privilege of being an artist gives him probably the genuine right to keep a whole lot of secrets for himself, therefore the puzzling secrecy and identity of Portrait keeps the viewer asking the same old questions over and over again, and this premeditated cause and effect reaction manipulation is the typical modus-operandi of Antonio Pessoa's harmless playful moody games, when it comes to use art as his favorite tool in order to challenge the viewer's thoughtful and sometimes painful discernment process about how to actually approach a purposely ambiguous topic, randomly experiencing multiple assumptions and considering several aspects of an apparently faceless Portrait, particularly in this thrilling situation in which the artist provides no antidotes whatsoever for the viewer's ocular interpretation let alone navigate across the ocean of speculative exploring, and consequently come up at least with a dim light at the end of the tunnel after a meticulous eternity trying to figure out the artist's intentions, jumping at last to the twisted-grinning accurate conclusion that the hidden consistency of Portrait was from the very beginning meant for the artist to know and for the viewer to find out. More than a visual illusion, Portrait's equivocal, cryptic, enigmatic, "top secret" possibilities, incorporates key-references, trying and actually succeeding to provide the viewer with a super universe of infinite research tools, however in the meantime creating a mysterious traffic of visual tactics almost suggesting that the one meant to have been the inspiring model is pure imagination fiction, that the true meaning of this painting, maybe... just maybe, might as well still be under construction. Basically, all I could really do to help in the hope to cool the viewer's anxiety or make the viewer consider the evidence of no evidence at all, would possibly be to gently say "give it up and just sit, relax and enjoy it", for after all it seems to me quite obvious Portrait was indeed meant to be from the very beginning a conceptual artistic camouflage. A mystery Portrait, an artist's secret, revealing absolutely nothing but another interesting fine art riddle, a brain teaser double and veiled meaning composition, meant to puzzle the viewer and therefore a classified information artistic enigma never to be solved. Antonio Pessoa's juicy secret skillfully hidden perhaps behind the apparent empty spaces of the canvas, as if answering questions with odd questions, makes Portrait the traditional "maybe, maybe not" sort of inscrutable, obscure, even mystical sort of artistic disappearance, leaving no loose ends and leaving the anonymous portrayed one forevermore occult in the mystifying highest level of the world fine art nameless esoteric models Olympus!

 

 

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