Regis Silva - Brazilian Painter and Sculptor in California
Regis Silva was born in 1977 in Paraiso, a town in Central Brazil. Prompted by a dream at the age of 15, he began frequenting Umbanda ceremonies, the imagery of which would later influence his multi-media works. Silva began painting quite spontaneously when, at sixteen, he wandered into an art supply store and purchased a blank canvas and acrylic paints. It was during a brief stint in Monterey, California that his first series of paintings emerged in the form of abstracted jellyfish and other sea creatures. Later, in his home studio in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco, he would integrate found objects, printed matter, trash, and even the fabric scraps evoking memories of his mother’s sewing, into his larger-than-life female figures that quite literally pop off the canvas. At once life-affirming, colorful, voluptuous, and dark and menacing, these portraits allude to the dichotomies that exist within each of us. Silva’s latest series of orixá sculptures in his characteristic style of simple forms in bold colors reflects his recent research and writing on these Afro-Brazilian deities.
Silva and his work have been featured in such publications as Brazil Explore (Oct., 2004), Comunidade News (Nov, 2004), Brasil California Magazine (Nov, 2004), The Orange County Register (Aug, 2003) and in Brasil Best. His work has been shown at Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Orange County (2003), Blue Room Gallery in San Francisco’s Mission District (2004), Pacific Grove Art Center in Pacific Grove, CA (2005) and Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA (2005).
Regis’ self-portrait graces the July cover of Brasil Best which also includes a color spread of his mixed media pieces. A feature-length article entitled, “Mixing it Up” can be found in The Monterey County Herald’s Go! Section (July 14-20, 2005).
Biography by Jamie Davidson
San Francisco, CA
About the Work
“Happy Colors, Happy Life”
– Mixed Media paintings on canvas stretched on wood panel.
Ranging from eleven inches to 135 inches, this collection is composed of a variety of techniques, textures, colors and dimensions. Most of them have three-dimensional features such as breasts, facial features, hats, and parts of their clothing. The depth of each piece varies from 12 to 35 inches. The paintings are built on hard wood structure frames and wrapped in canvas. The materials used to build the 3D parts are recyclable materials, such as newspapers, magazines, bottles, plastics. Wire, metal, staples and nails support the structure of each creation. After the skeleton is mounted, it is covered with canvas and sealed. Fabrics is used to accentuate the details, filling empty spaces with subtle images and colors. Some of them are landscapes like in a dream, some others reflect the good and evil; the simple and ambitious; the pretty and the ugly dichotomies that most human beings live with. In other paintings the artist focused on beauty and serenity-- a feast for the eyes.
“Steps to a Surreal Life”
-Watercolor on paper
This series of watercolor paintings has been interpreted by many viewers as a dream-like scene. The images of people in these paintings reflect duality, the concept of which he used as a theme in a later series. Each watercolor character expresses two distinct emotions; ecstasy and melancholy, joy and shame, bliss and violence. Occasionally one might notice an ironic contrast of melancholy painted with bright colors which are usually associated with peace, happiness and euphoria. Each stroke of the brush accentuates the minute details hidden deep in the cracks of the previous layers, creating an illusion of depth and live texture. The result is surreal scenery where images are neither beautiful nor ugly. The work is done with a rare pigment, and is saturated with extremely vivid colors, making it difficult to immediately recognize as watercolor. Some of his inspiration comes from Salvador Dali, whose surrealism he have always carried a deep appreciation for. The water color images ranging in size from 10 to 30 inches are reminiscent of Brazilian daily life. They capture the discord of happiness and innocence coexisting with violence and anger.
To know more about Regis Silva and see his arts, please visit http://www.regissilva.com/