Samuel de Saboia
01 Feb – 23 Mar 2019
31 Jan, 7 pm – 10 pm
Alameda Franca, 1054
Jardim Paulista, São Paulo, SP
Emmathomas presents pop-up exhibition by Samuel de Saboia
He explores the angels’ nature in a show that reunites works of different tendencies; Guardiões, curated by Ana Carolina Ralston, is Saboia’s first individual in Brazil
Creatures that walk between light and shadow, embracing both within themselves. Their duality comes in different forms: as messengers and as guardians. Living beings referred to as angels in the New Testament, they can, at times, be charming, while often frightening. Guardiões is pop-up exhibition that artist Samuel de Saboia debuts at Emmathomas Gallery on January 31. Angels emerge and are ubiquitous. With curatorship of Ana Carolina Ralston, this exhibition is part of a larger project, showing and offering invited artists to also exhibit on the gallery’s mezzanine.
“Just like the unexpected appearances of these beings, Saboia’s brushstrokes are sudden, explosive and self-driven”, says the curator. “The bristles leave traces of paint, sometimes acrylic, sometimes oil, which are scanned by the artist’s own fingers while he dots, softens and even displays wider emotion onto the canvas”, she adds.
Saboia investigates, reinvents living beings. His abstract guttural brushstrokes show up in indigenous rituals such as The Pajé (indigenous healer) and the Moon (2018), or even in utopian scenes such as Stellar Children (2018), where social blending cannot allow minorities and majorities to be vilified by acts of injustice. The artist paints androgynous and pendulous creatures between two worlds. “If angels are genderless, why should we establish one?” questions the 21-year-old artist. “As a young black man, I am a political body” he reassures.
The calling of art blew early into Samuel’s ears. At age 12, the young man turned evenings into days. He painted in hiding during nights. His parents, evangelical pastors in Recife, believed the boy was cursed by evil forces, but art emerged despite, as a drive which ended up in spiritual boundaries.
Samuel began his Architecture and City Urbanization college studies prematurely, at age 15. Clueless and depressed, he dropped out of the course, and tried his luck in a graphic design course. He attended for some time, time he thought he didn’t possess. He dropped out of the university when he was close to graduate and jumped into the world of arts. By the age of 21, his résumé showed threefold exhibitions while in New York, the last one being an individual at the Ghost Gallery in Brooklyn; in addition to shows in Lisbon and Paris.
Saboia’s own personality is influenced by his work’s duality. His rigid upbringing, his childhood in Pernambuco’s exuberant vegetation and intense sunshine capital-Recife, provided the artist’s palette with colors. “Samuel brings reds, greens, and yellows that pinpoint creation and creature, opposed to dark hemispheres in black and cobalt-blue, symbolizing clarity and shadow that coexist within us all”, says Ralston.
Samuel acts fearlessly, experiences different ways to bring his thoughts into life. He continues his search to unite corporeal and spiritual feelings that lye in himself. His freedom is also present in I Love You, I Love You, I Love You, an 80cm by 60cm tapestry that reminds him of his mother’s weaving skills (she is one of his greatest guardians), when she used to sew clothes for the family.
Guardiões is Samuel de Saboia’s first individual in Brazil. The artist exhibits for the first time cold ceramic sculptures, an unprecedented work where he seeks to bring living beings into a diverse dimension, combining curves and misshapen objects.
About the artist
Born in Totó’s neighborhood of Recife, Samuel de Saboia, 21, held his first solo exhibition last year at the Ghost Gallery in New York. He began his career at a very young age, when he was just 15, back in 2012, at a collective exhibition at Casarão venue in Recife. Since then he has held several exhibitions around the world, including Paredão, CCSP (2017), The Skin I’m In, Space 776, New York (2018), and now his first solo in Brazil, at Emmathomas Gallery. During his stay in Paris, at the end of last year, he joined La Barraque Creative, a collective space that acts as an intermediary between artists and major national and international brands.