What Is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection

Beatriz Milhazes. Succulent Eggplants. 1996

Beatriz Milhazes. Succulent Eggplants. 1996

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 74 3/4 x 96 1/2" (189.9 x 245.1 cm). Gift of Agnes Gund and Nina and Gordon Bunshaft Bequest Fund. © 2018 Beatriz Milhazes

BEATRIZ MILHAZES: I am Beatriz Milhazes. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And now I'm talking from Rio.

I think my work somehow is about Rio. You have an excess of nature, of beauty, because it's an unbelievable beautiful city. You are invited to a very wild exaggerated excess all the time.

I use on my paintings different kinds of motifs. Different kinds of images that came from different places. The decorative art is part of one of my interests, the handmade women things like crochet or like laces. Fabrics in general. The fruits came also from this kind of decorative environment.

I don't paint directly on a canvas. During the '80s I always worked with collages. I would like to keep the idea about working with collage, but I needed to make my own images. I make like a film with acrylic painting on a plastic. So when that is wet I glue it on the canvas and then I let it dry and when it is dry I peel off the plastic. And then the image stays. Every fruits, every flower, every arabesque was made in a separated plastic. So I don't have the whole thing all together anytime. And then I can superimpose it in different ways and see how it happens before I really glue it.

Succulent Eggplants a title like this there is not exactly any direct connection with the work in itself. It's something that it delicious, that's something that leaves you some pleasure.

This painting it's something that is too much beauty maybe. It's very disturbing too. You don't know exactly where to stop, where is the best thing to see, to look, what to think.

6 / 7