Vitor Silva Tavares1984

Written for the exhibition
Óleos de Manuel Amado / Oil Paintings by Manuel Amado - Espace Alliance, Galeria da Alliance Française, Lisbon, 1984
Not a single corner of the house is left for confidences or parallel readings: exact, sharp, this painting manifests itself when one looks into its patient handicraft. It is what it is – reality in painting, or painting without an alibi.

One could say: laborious craft according to the rule. In every line, angle, scale, perspective, reticulation of light and shadow. And also in the scarcity of elements: attic, door, washstand, rocking horse. All essentials. Everything is elementary and exposed, naked and placid in that stripped-down evidence. In that haunting fixedness.

Then, on the other side of the mirror, the space (mine only, now) of the labyrinth appears: this painting awakens in me an unknown oblivion, fills some unknown corner of myself with impossible fascination.

I enter it, complicitly. And, once behind the screen, I am taken by a troubling unrest, from which not even normative accidents or copies of things manage to distract me. I feel anguished – before the Dream Palace’s implacable quietness.   

I may evade the challenge, by qualifying my gaze and my prose, recurring to textual comprehensiveness. There still remains the Sphinx, the prodigious energy of silence. 
Either I am much mistaken, or I stand before a kind of Resurrection of Death. 

Indeed, Beauty can only exist when it is convulsive. 


And there are never words for the best and worst of this tally, close to the occlusive vomit/shudder of Poetry.  

To paint houses, corridors or rocking horses is still the task of painting. When and if it is done by painters. Those incorrigible, secretive animals. 

Last resort: the art of making explode intact mirrors. Memorable snapshots. Cold, fragile diamonds. 

Joy: silencing an immense Farewell.