The appreciation of the overall composition subsequently gives way to the perception of existing narratives: the soundless intensity of a couple’s conversation and solitary characters in a minimal landscape, looking straight into the void or staring at us as lost heroes. Occasional grids of single elements, such as skulls serially repeated on the painting, also produce a jamming effect of abstract and figurative elements.
In his stunning gouaches from the series called Misturinhas, painted motifs are mixed with collaged photographs. Echoes of avant-garde experiments in photo-montage – such as in the memorable works of Raoul Hausmann and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy are brought to mind. Malta Campos, employment of sampling, jamming and layering seem to indicate that if his works had sound, theirs would be the sound of jazz.
Text © Gabriela Salgado
Questão de Método por Antonio Malta Campos
March 23rd 2010, by Fábio Tremonte, Canal Contemporâneo
Recentemente, tive uma discussão com amigos, um crítico de arte com formação em filosofia e um artista plástico que gosta de escrever e desenhar histórias em quadrinhos. Impropérios à parte, coloquei algumas questões relativas à Crítica de Arte, que considero pertinentes. Não posso dizer que meus amigos concordaram com o que eu disse. Eles colocaram outras questões, e também não posso dizer que concordaram entre si. O fato é que o Canal Contemporâneo estava escutando a conversa (pela Internet) e me pediu para escrever um ensaio sobre o assunto. Acabei escrevendo um texto que não reflete exatamente o que eu disse, mas chega perto. É incrível como podemos formular as mesmas questões de maneiras diferentes; depende do dia. De qualquer forma, aí vão minhas considerações.
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Antonio Malta Campos
I was born in São Paulo, in 1961. Early on, as child, I started to draw with pencil on paper, with my two younger brothers. My father, an architect, encouraged us. In my teens, between 1977 and 1979, I was a high school student at Colégio Equipe in São Paulo, where I met Rodrigo Andrade, Fábio Miguez, Paulo Monteiro, Carlito Carvalhosa, Leda Catunda, Nuno Ramos and other students who shared an interest in the visual arts.
I started to make oil paintings in 1982, at the Casa 7 studio in São Paulo, with some of my friends from Equipe. I was already an architecture student at the University of São Paulo (USP). In 1983, I left Casa 7 to join another studio, of fellow students from USP. My first show was in 1985, at the Centro Cultural São Paulo. I showed large Neo-expressionist paintings, together with Maína Costales, a painter (and my first wife).
As the second half of the 80s came, Brazilian artists reacted to the eclecticism of the 80s painting vogue. The Casa 7 artists abandoned their Neo-expressionist work, and became abstract artists, influenced by Brazilian Neo-Concretism. My work also changed, as I developed an interest in Cubism.
Since then, I showed my work at museums and commercial galleries in Brazil. My most recent show was at the Centro Cultural São Paulo, in 2012 (with Erika Verzutti).