Adriana Rocha



Adriana Rocha covers the painting with mystery
Adriana Rocha was born in São Paulo in 1959 and her paintings show her convictions of the work she has carried out over a 20-year journey. ”When I began to study art at the FAAP University, I was doing drawings but it was already a drawing that pointed towards painting and it is painting that made me question myself as an artist since 1983.”
As occurred with the so-called 1980 Generation, to which she belonged indirectly, Adriana Rocha devoted herself to painting as a means of expression. However, unlike her colleagues, who dedicated themselves to abstracts and thick layers of paint or made efforts to create a figurative language evoking aspects of daily life, Adriana was captivated right from the very beginning to the idea of the passage of time and the marks it leaves which gradually fade away. “I have always worked with existing images that remain deposited in the memory and afterwards disappear. I am fascinated by the human condition of impermanence,” she says.
Her latest individual exhibition held in 2003 in the Galeria Nara Roesler in São Paulo, showed a particular feature and her works began to include clear figurative references on the canvasses such as a 10-year-old girl, her sons, and a friend. “They are known, recognizable figures but they were treated with paint made in layers, filled with glazes and transparencies that create this aspect of things wearing out.”
In fact, Adriana Rocha’s paintings seem to foresee the consequences of the inevitability of time. This kind of mystery, a feeling of almost ruin, is acquired through a particular process in preparing the canvases and the paints. It is a slow process. After the plaster and sandpaper treatment, the painting gains a layer of black pigment with acrylic varnish and it is only when the background is ready that it is covered with successive layers of paint which are then washed and superimposed. “That’s how the eye penetrates into the color, gradually and mysteriously”. In creating her paintings, Adriana Rocha conveys the game of showing/revealing, which is the essence of all her work.
In the midst of these layers of hues, the figures of people and landscapes are hot stamped by a machine. “The power of images in the media is obvious, but the image in painting is not there to explain itself. It is there to suggest, ask questions and raise doubts.” What Adriana does is to remove its narrative character from the printed image, unveiling its uncertainties. “You need to deconstruct the myth that an image does not lie. We put too much trust in them. They do lie”.
Another question that appears in her works is who really created it if she is using existing images. ”It is a relief not to be the owner of all the images I use. I don’t have any maternal feelings for them.”
She is currently involved in a public art project that includes painting on external and internal walls and squares in São Paulo city. In contrast to the obvious images that are usually overdone and highlight big city life – “visual rapes”, as she describes them - Adriana Rocha’s works will be subtle, almost imperceptible. “I will be outlining the tracks of landscapes, something that is very quiet that invites the viewer to take a very different look”. She believes that this quiet provocation is a cry of survival for the process of creating images that is now so undervalued in the post-media world. “You need to discover a vein of survival for painting as everything seems to have already been done. You need to clean up.”
Adriana has followed a path, which includes exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. She took part in the ArteBA exhibition in Buenos Aires in 2000, with the Galeria Nara Roesler and a collective exhibition in Bobigny, a small town close to Paris, in 2001. She shares her studio, a large shed in the Vila Madalena district of São Paulo with the artists Luis Solha and Regina Johas.

Revista Bravo

From the original in Portuguese by Kátia Canton, September 2003