f.marquespenteado (1955, São Paulo, Brazil) signs his name in this fashion, without using capital letters, so common to proper names, and without showing the gender. Sewing multiple stories and voices, his embroideries have more than behind the scenes as supports, sustained by plastic bread baskets, tennis rackets and fly swatters. Postcards, photographs, belongings, drawings and even personal clothing are part of his works, which end up mirroring, in the places where they are exhibited, the artist’s very intimate universe.
In recent years, f.marquespenteado has been collecting crime and detective books, in which he underlines catchphrases and then transfers them to the mouths of fictional characters, around whom orbit clues about their stories and personal characteristics.
His works participated in the 30th São Paulo Biennial – The Imminence of Poetics, in 2012, which was curated by Luis Pérez-Oramas.
Embroydery as Memory
I have had the honor of collecting, assembling and re-presenting materials that I was able to save from the rest in which they lived on: old, hidden, dirty on the sidewalks of markets. With this gesture I reinvigorate them, I activate the reminder of their intrinsic nobility, much of this through their “original”, impeccable, astute patches – elaborated by a generation of people who understood very, very, very well the virtuous ecological circle inscribed in the production of a single piece of fabric.
Other materials that honor me with their presence present me with signs of the times, marks of the incursion of an inclement sun. Still others show signs of sweat and body fluids. Others showcase the engineering mastery of a unique model. There are many other artists like me, in this same arena of memory, seeking to honor the craftsmen of times past and thereby add the contemporary gesture to the actions of that time.
I think there is nothing more essential and human than the frank exchange of biographies, so it is not at all difficult for me to share the stories inscribed in my house, a place that is in fact where anyone can get to know the best of me. I am always impressed by the difficulty many people show in revealing themselves, in spontaneously approaching their universes, from ideas to feelings.
What has changed since the 30th Bienal, in 2012?
As the strongest arm of my contemporary work is the creation of different fictional subjects (embroidered portraits), it will then be the same invented biographies, with their crossroads and exits, that will account for changes in the contemporary world as I perceive it. It is these fictional voices that begin to narrate the afflictions, the confrontations and the conquests that men and women have been acquiring, when they fall and then stand up again, especially in the territories and values where sexuality and gender are inscribed.
Weaving Versus Embroidering
Here, and without any pedagogical ambition, I have to clarify that my work does not imply “weaving” something: I was never interested in looms nor in the severe crossing of threads that is required to form a woven piece. My work celebrates embroidery, which is a topical technique: in short, something is added to a fabric or canvas, either adding thread to the work or removing threads from the fabric to create patterns.