Review by Enock Sacramento for the Carbono Zero (Zero Carbon) exhibit
Fernando Ekman is a multiple artist. He travels with ease through the fields of drawing, painting, set design, video and cinema.
Working with important directors, he has won, as a stage designer and / or art director, significant awards at the Festivals of Cannes (Golden Lion) and Gramado (in Brazil), at the Creation Club and highlights at events such as Rede Globo’s Professionals of the Year. As a stage director, he participated in the XXI Sao Paulo Biennial with the project “Equilíbrios”, with Cristina Brandini and Eduardo Simões. He has directed videos for artists Aguilar, Paulo Sayeg and Kimi Nii.
But Fernando Ekman is also dedicated to studio work, performing artwork without commitment to the great productions of the film industry, television studios and video producers. Acting as a set designer and art director, he has gotten used to working in teams, contributing with his knowledge, in specific segments of production, to the final excellence of complex cultural products such as a movie.
Fernando Ekman is also the professional who carries out the solitary work of a plastic artist, in the creation of a drawing or a painting outside the buzz of sets, in the silence of the studio. This is, in fact, his most frequent current scenario. That’s where he finds himself, by doing what he likes best, choosing his own themes and developing them in the way that seems most appropriate to him. That’s where he becomes the director of himself.
It was not by chance that he chose, for some time, watercolor as a privileged channel of expression. In fact, it is a form of paint obtained by pigments diluted in water and fixed with gum arabic, usually on paper, from which a luminous, almost immaterial color results. With it, Fernando Ekman created a series of “Solidarity Objects”, those that are always next to us, like a stool, a swivel chair, a book, a radio, a computer keyboard, making clear that, like Manuel Bandeira, that “poetry is in everything, both in love and in slippers” (a quote from “Itinerário da Pasárgada”, or Pasargada Itinerary). Thus, Fernando Ekman transformed banal objects into the raw material of his pictorial work, revealing a particular way of seeing the world, filtered by his sensitivity, in the line of everyday poetics, the inventory of simple and common objects, the reverse of rhetoric, catching human existence by the bias of everyday things and equipment.
Ekman then expanded his scale. He began to use larger-format papers or replaced them with canvas, some of the larger dimensions. And, in parallel with the watercolor, he began to draw / paint with coal, oil and bitumen. He directed his vision to equipment and objects related, in one way or another, to the concept of Carbon Zero, with the need to offset carbon emissions in order to preserve the environment, combat global warming, and ultimately, maintain sustainability. His work, without prejudice to its plastic qualities, gained political content. On the cover of this catalog, for example, is the image of a tire that, even if discarded in a suitable place, takes 600 years to decompose.
His work, exposed here, deserves to be seen and reflected.