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"Itaim you aren't Be-Be"

Almost invariably, my work speaks about the environment that surrounds me, describing experiences and impressions of my day-to-day existence: I have my studio in the neighborhood of Itaim Paulista, a periphery in the far eastern area of Säo Paulo.

In this remarkable environment live simple and hardworking people who have left their origins and roots in Northeast Brazil.

The Northeast was a poor area which had been constantly plagued by terrible droughts and directed by colonels who dominated the land. Fortunately, today, this picture has improved considerably and the Northeasterners of Brazil live better there than they have in the past decades.

In my contact with the city's cultural elite, gallerists, collectors and the wealthy people who live in the best places of the city; I have often heard when we talk about my studio, as if they had not understood clearly or as if I had mentioned a wrong location: you mean "Italm Bibi"? they would say (Itaim Bibi is an elegant,
noble quarter,in a region with high purchasing power of residents and nightlife, in the city of São Paulo), When I correct them and say, "Itaim Paulsta" they are amazed and ask how can I live and work there in that distant, ugly, dirty, undignifed and dangerous place full of Northeasterners.

However, they do not have the slightest notion of where and who they are talking about, I know this because my experiences with the Itaim Paulista go far beyond -Eurocentric- prejudice.

For years, the scenario of conductors of electricity and even high voltage passing snugly against the houses on the east side of Säo Paulo, in particular Itaim Paulista, always caught my attention.

I began to face them as a metaphor for this issue of social tension that permeates the city. Since electricity has the same Circulating system, it will be used by various social strata. Aesthetically this chaos fascinated irre and I decided to work with this idea, this chaos and fascination that exist constantly in
Itaim Paulista, as well as on the periphery of major urban centers

José De Quadros, Sao Paulo, January 2013

© 2013 José De Quadros |
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