Hudinilson Jr.

(Brazil) 1957-2013

Working from the late 1970s to 2013, when he passed away in São Paulo, multimedia artist Hudinilson Jr. remains a representative figure of Brazilian graffiti and one of the few artists truly identified with homoerotic art in Brazil. Throughout his life, his oeuvre remained marginal and underground. The artist experimented with multiple artistic expressions such as drawing, painting, mail-art, graffiti, performance, urban interventions and xerography (Xerox art), where the human body, eroticism and pleasure are recurrent themes. The amazing profusion of materials and support bases employed in the artist’s work further intensifies the protagonistic presence of compulsive manipulation and the highly charged homoerotic evocation of the (self) image of the nude masculine body as a regular practice. His first big moment of public visibility came in 1979 when he founded the collective 3Nós3, together with artists Mário Ramiro (1957) and Rafael França (1957-1991). By regarding the urban landscape as a blank page on which to apply graphic design, the group carried out monumental public actions in the city of São Paulo, in the midst of the military dictatorship.

From 1982 onwards, he initiated the series Exercício de Me Ver (Exercise for Seeing Myself), which consists of the xerographic reproduction of parts of his own body. With Narcissus’ eyes, Hudinilson leaned over the Xerox machine and recorded parts of his body, as seen in the works shown at the Taipei Biennial 2014.  Taking the universe of the Greek myth as the central pulse of his oeuvre, he embarked on a quest for himself in the projection of the other, playing with his own image in “an exercise or reading/vision.” In a sensual act he dismembered upper body, legs, arms, sex, then joined them together or worked separately on individual parts to create a collage, object, graffiti or Xerox work.

A large part of these panels are produced from enlarged photocopies of the artist’s body, created directly over the copy machine, such as Area of Tension III-D and the five collage works Untitled (HJ0146 [6], [8], [11], [12], [22]). The enlarged prints were then juxtaposed to form mosaics the size of billboards.  Many of these panels unveil minute detail of the masculine body, enlarged continuously to the point where the copy machine starts imprinting its own graphic marks and reticular patterns, ultimately rendering organic and abstract surfaces. Other xerographic works were generated from the articulations and juxtapositions of printed photographs drawn from the artist’s vast image database.

The artist described his work as “using the BODY as matrix... leaning over and lying full-bodied over the screen of the XEROX copy machine, thus composing forms/textures. The XEROX recreates the BODY in a singular way, erasing details and enhancing others, resulting in images that draw closer to abstraction, in an exercise of reading/vision... to understand the limits imposed by the machine and augment its resources by controlling these limits, inverting the relations, transforming the machine into both vehicle and co-author of this work.”

In his oeuvre, the theme of the body is not as evident as it seems. His homoerotic poetics is composed by a collective universe of bodies, all of which exhibit their attributes in torsos, nipples, armpits, feet, hands and body hair in a graphic scale, manipulated through the specific language of xerography. When translated by the copy machine, the qualities of the body are converted into graphic structures that the artist identified as a result of the co-authorship of the machine. It is the performativity of the Xerox, a new form of automatic production of the 1980s.

Hudinilson Jr. has been featured in many major exhibitions, including: Glasgow International, Glasgow, UK (2014); Garcia Galeria, Madrid (2014); Surrender Earthlings, Casa das Rosas, São Paulo (2002); 3rd Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil (2001); 18th São Paulo Biennial (1985); 1st Havana Biennial, Havana (1984); Arte Xerox Brasil, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (1984). 

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