Serra da Estrela, Portugal

João Francisco Vilhena

Members: 299€ or 6M
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  • Photography on japanese paper, chinne collé and engraving creasing
  • Fabriano Tiepolo 290gr Paper / Japanese Awagami Shin Inbe 65gr Paper
  • Image Size: 41,5x29 cm
  • Total Size: 70x50 cm
  • Date: 2016
  • 15 units
  • Ref.: F35126


Work that was part of the Exhibition "A Melancholia das Sombras" // CPS at CCB // 19 May - 19 June 2016







Maria João Fernandes *


 “You lay your face against the stone; melancholy and not even

you hear the nightingale. Or is it? the lark?

(…) is inside you

that all music is bird.”         Eugénio de Andrade.


The celebrated Italian painter De Chirico (1888-1978) reinvented for the history of art the concept of melancholy associated with a metaphysical aspect, generating an entire tradition of which it is part today, saved all distances, time, style, support, the creation of João Vilhena. His photographs are somehow not photographs, as contemporary art has taught us to understand, but portraits of an intimacy that communicates to space and does so to reality. Its image, in the mirror of a consciousness carried on the waves of the desire to Be, to love the evanescent beauty of a light so ephemeral and which is simultaneously the pure image of eternity.

Melancholy is that of the invading shadows of the scintillation of space, it is; that of the consciousness of the instant, in the moment in which we witness the decline of the light that veils the appearances of pure brilliance, of the brief breath of infinity.

In João Vilhena's art, photography is a central feature. It is close to painting, reviving another great tradition of 20th century art, since the American Stieglitz (1864-1946), but at the same time it becomes autonomous from it through the link to a real that it has in its Your veins are the blood of poetry.

His creation feeds on the real and nourishes it, giving it the elixir to drink, the divine essence of a beauty that is unique. It is more of the domain of the spirit and less of the order of appearances which are nevertheless there, in a “for you” and in a “towards the other”, with a phenomenological sense, in a flow and an osmosis of intimate and external worlds, which resolve into an enchantment, a sweet sadness that seems without a reason, when the reason hovers vaguely, carried away by whiteness of the clouds, or by the surprise of details that shine softly to remind us that we belong to this world.

Do we really belong (to the real)? The insistence is voluntary. É This is what all these images seem to say silently or silently, ultimately composing that timeless symphony of Being that is that of all Art.

The solidity of objects is important. our solitude. The objects placed on stage, in the great scene of human destiny of which they are metaphors, speak of their visionary condition, of great spectators waiting for an absence that announces the Presence. We are at the heart of a poetic adventure, the poetic adventure that led the author to be the interpreter of works and universes as complex as those of Teixeira de Pascoaes, Fernando Pessoa or José Saramago.

His diary at different times passed through different spaces and distant places, his lyrical coordinates have nothing but the borders of the spirit and this has no limits . In Mexico, Frida Khalo's homeland, in Trotsky's house, in Sahara, in Serra da Estrela, facing the ocean, in Venice, in Amarante, in Pascoaes' house or in Lanzarote, following in José José's footsteps. Saramago, your domain is the dialogue of light and shadows, sublime immaterial metaphors in search of a new body of life, of another Life of the spirit, in a march that gives a new meaning to Rimbaud's famous verse.

“La vie est ailleurs” but this beyond, the sphere of desire and suspension, of contemplation, is there. right here, in the heart of reality, in the surprise of unexpected details, in the sudden and fortunately fatal, inspiration, offering, in the miracle of Poetry.


*Art Critic (A.I.C.A. International Association of Art Critics), Poet (with the pseudonym Joana Lapa).

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