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IDENTITY
This little painting by João Penalva is a flag. Eu como tu, is its title.
And this is right. Eu (“I”) is, inevitably, a way of saying tu (you) because there is not you without I, or a “you” is a declension of an “I”.
João Penalva’s work is made up of poetics that are always taken from an awareness of a definition, an identity; it is a metaphor for a point of view. For this reason his works are often narratives, telling stories that only exist because they emanate from a field of radical subjectivity. So there is no hiatus between the delicate painting of his early career and the works that come from large fictional constructions in order to produce plots in which someone’s identity is defined in relation to someone else – whether this is a cultural other, or an other subjectivity.
In its apparent simplicity, Eu como tu is the clearest statement of that primacy of an enormous artistic plot on the relativity of identity. We are what we are, always in relation to someone.

Delfim Sardo

Details

  • Title: Padrão e partenaire
  • Creator: João Penalva
  • Date Created: 1986
  • Location: Lisbon
  • Physical Dimensions: 205 x 123 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Photographer: © António Peixoto
  • Inventory: 247185

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