The color, the colourfulness, is the most striking feature that the viewer finds in the works of the Brazilian Rodrigo Franzão. This applies in particular to the objects in which he combines different materials, primarily textiles, but also metal objects found. Franzão woven stripes of different fabrics in powerful colors into rhythmic compositions which, by interacting with the objects of metal, move between an apparent bulkiness and extraordinary dynamics. The combination of the colors, which is often balanced, but not infrequently also on the border of the harmony, testifies to Franz's willingness to explore boundaries and, if necessary, to cross them.
For his work, the artist primarily uses textiles, different fabrics, but also sewing needles, copper wire and paper, sometimes also working with oil and acrylic paints. His focus on everyday, preferably industrial, materials underlines his predilection for the materials that surround the human being, whether he is wearing it on the skin or in daily life, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. When asked why he used material, which is usually associated with the art of textiles, Franzão points to biographical experiences: that his mother, who works as a seamstress, already has the materials, the tools, and the sound from her workshop His childhood. Similar impressions refer to his father, who was active in metallurgy. From this he draws his passion and inspiration.
However, his researches, art studies, color and material research are also important for Franzão. The linking of different textile materials allows him countless artistic possibilities, and the choice of both the material and the medium is dependent on the subject. Thus, says the artist, "the material should enter into a dialogue with the subject".
In addition to his artistic research, which is part of his work process, his professional career, which led him to the fine arts, is also remarkable. Rodrigo Franzão has already integrated art into his work when he worked as a Portuguese teacher for several years. Subsequently, he studied architecture, psycho-pedagogy and art therapy. Currently, he is studying art history and aesthetics. Thus, what interests him at the scientific level, art in its historical, social and aesthetic context, he expands in the concept of his artistic research, color and material research, as well as a broad philosophical view of man and his role in society.
In his work complex Subtração Involuntária, which Franzão has created mainly in the years 2014 to 2015, work can be categorized as panels (oil or acrylic) with applications (sewing needles, copper wire). Here, however, the viewer also encounters works that extend so far into the room that they leave the plane of the panel: objects made of interlaced, colored cloths and wires of copper, which protrude from this surface, leaving them, as it were, extensively and comparatively disorderly. Especially the objects, in which he combines textiles with copper wires, very much remind us of Eva Hesse's works. But other influences of geometric abstraction and constructivism are also evident.
These objects are often installed at a certain distance from the exhibition wall, so that they search for the dialogue with the viewer as autonomous objects, sometimes free-hanging. It is for him, "says Franzão," to make the individual "what makes his life as a visible, active member of society", his "role as a consumer, and how he conceals his true being through this role" , This connection is not necessarily immediately apparent when these works, which are sometimes inaccessible at all dynamics, It is precisely through the high degree of abstraction of these works that such considerations are left to the viewer at first sight.
Naturally, content access to the works is easier when figurative elements come into play. In his series of catharsis, on which Rodrigo Franzão has been working since last year, the artist presents forms in his wall objects that are familiar: human organs, stomach and intestines, kidneys and bladders, lung wings. The forms are kept simple, as they are to be found on radiographs or, in models, in medical and biological literature. They are distinguished by a red color from abstract-polychromatic background and are interspersed with laid copper wires and needles. Franzão's inspiration is clearly the human being, the human body and its biological structures. To this structural model, the artist contrasts an observation model: By contrasting the aesthetic aspects of the color composition with the aspect of the biological condition, the artist makes the viewer look less toward a general than to his own individual reality. The material, which moves in these forms and is not food, fluid and breathing air, but found metal objects, leads this work back to the abstract plane, which Franzão had already treaded in Subtração Involuntária. To this extent, Franzão reveals, on the other hand, the dialogue between consumption and its effects on the one hand, and the people in society on the other. The fact that Franzão does not want to leave it with a mere projection of his ideas with regard to man and society in the sense of a pure projection is demonstrated in Franzão's participatory approach, which according to his own data is to gain increasing importance in his future work. Already, as Franzão wished, the viewer should "step in front of his works and become a part of it," and he should "create an effect that remains in his memory". His recent paintings, paintings of geometric forms, arranged in contrasting narrow stripes, create visual effects following the movement through the eyes of the viewer. In continuation, for example, Franzão is planning installations with light, which can be manipulated by the viewer. It is essential in the work of Rodrigo Franzão that the material is in dialogue with the subject, but in addition the work should also enter into an active, alternating dialogue with the viewer.
South Embassy Gallery, Berlin, Germany