The eloquent shell of the heart
The series of plywood boards spread around the room form engraved wood walls. They are painted reliefs that were gained autonomy as a work after the end of their useful life as big woodcut stamp. Together, they allude to truncate narratives, fragments of stories, modules of time, displaced characters. Hardly classifiable, The Eloquent Shell of the Heart mixes installation, drawing, painting and sculpture.
And it would not be inappropriate to say that literature is also present — the work’s title has its source in a poem by Edmond Jabès: “The heart is an arc at the threshold of our age, an eloquent shell (for itself) between the fingers of a clairvoyant.” Jabès’ writings deals with source and destination issues, which are understood not as fixed points, but as moving nuclei. So movable and recombinant are the plywood boards of Fabricio Lopez’ work. Besides, Jabès’ poetry is a poetics of the foreigner, whose ideas of place, habitation, occupation, identity and belonging are interrogated. Such questions are shared with Lopez’ poetics, not as foreigner, but as someone trying to appropriate his own places in an increasingly fuller way.
The Santos city’s historic center, the port area, the beaches and the mangrove are the outfall of the images the artist captures and then transfigures into his work. A sinking boat, a beggar sleeping on the sidewalk, moths, a passer-by with an umbrella. Characters somewhat similar to Oswaldo Goeldi’s ones are enclosed in the shell of personal daily experience of the world. But they are not protected by this interior: the figures are somewhat worn out, immersed into the saline corrosion of the salty air; the cut wood surface is meat without blood.
In the one of the many books present in Fabricio Lopez’ studio, one can read the name Harlan Hubbard. This relation also makes sense since, apart the contextual differences, both artists have the woodcut as a mean of expression, and for both of them the landscape they share space with is the base for their imaginary. In his Journals (1939), Hubbard writes: “There must be a perfect balance between the abstract and reality in a picture. Every shape, line and color must be part of the design and still be an effective part of the picture, true to life.” Such guideline may also be seen in Lopez’ work, where observational drawing, development of the form and poetic creation join forces to form the image.