sábado, 11 de julho de 2009

Testimonials Catalog Art & Bulls: Ricardo Abranches ~ Think Roayl Think Portugal

[ "Royal Bullfight, the bestride art and tradition."
The art is part of us, the art is ourselves, the testimonial of our existence.
Bullfighting is an Iberian art with different paths, linked to Classical Antiquity.
In Portugal, there are references to horse riding bullfight on the King Dom Duarte’s book “A arte de bem cavalgar”. Dom Sebastião had shown great skills on horse riding bullfight. Also know by his dexterity on this art was the king Dom Miguel, at the XIX century. The people called him the “Bullfighter King”.
Maria Sobral de Mendonça offers us today her look on the royal art of bullfighting. ]
Ricardo Abanches
Think Royal Think Portugal

José Marquitos ~ RTP Management Board

[ As a connoisseur, admirer and collector of Maria Sobral Mendonça’s paintings since several years ago I know that, even so, she will surprise me again with her technical ability and her sensibility on how to approach this subject! ]
José Marquitos
RTP Management Board

Dom Nuno de Bragança van Uden ~ Royal House of Portugal

[ Portugal is sick.
The references that identify us have been systematically distorted and diluted. The uprooting of populations raises the feeling of emptiness and orphanage that is many times associated with emigrants, but in reality, that feeling is also starting to get installed on urban areas.
The consequences are everyday more visible in the incident of instability and social despair with which we are confronted almost in a daily basis.
We have been offered this unique moment of the canonization of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, a moment that we have not known how to enjoy conveniently so that it would help us to reunite with the most profound values of Portugality.
There are, however, little lights that still shine, such as the city of Évora, which, by recovering its cultural, social and physical patrimony, keep alive the hope of a Portugal that looks to the future but at the same time is based upon the traditions that have built our beliefs.
The “Festa Brava”, our traditional and popular bullfight, is, without a doubt, one of our manifestations that brings together the people from Minho to Algarve, passing by Açores, and one that must be cradled. It is due to this that I salute Maria Sobral Mendonça who, in good time, embraced this theme, by contributing with her art to the cause of National tradition.]
Dom Nuno de Bragança van Uden
Royal House of Portugal

Helder Sobral Mendonça ~ Founder of the Radio Program "Sol & Toros"

[ The “Arte de Tourear” gathers, more or less substantially, all the other great forms of art: sculpture – in the physical beauty of the bullfighters and in the harmony of their movements; painting – in the colours and grace of the clothing and the spearing; poetry – in the dream which takes us to all that is seductive a beautiful; music – in the rhythm of the spears and of the handles.
To witness a bullfight is to look forward for being in permanent contact with all art, with everything that man is capable to achieve of spiritually high. Thus, it is not strange that, throughout time, “Tauromaquia” has constituted a vast field of inspiration for writers and poets, sculptors and painters, musicians and dancers, photographers, cineastes and other artists.
The “toureio” cannot only be seen as demonstration of vigour, courage, audacity and ability. It is necessary to possess the sensitivity and preparation to understand what transcends the mere observation and the feeling and is the evaluation of all the fineness and smoothness of the spiritual, aesthetic and moral gathering that is the toureio.
In any of the three modalities of the tauromaquia that are practised in Portugal, and two of them with character of exclusiveness - the “equestrian toureio” and the “handle” – there is a crucial requirement to be considered: to place the art, at least in the same plain of the emotion.]
Hélder Sobral Mendonça
Founder of the Radio Program "Sol & Toiros"

Pedro Santos ~ Researcher Zootechnical

[ Art becomes art
In the bullring lives the illusion, that mixed feeling, complex, plenty of anxiety, expectation and hope. Paused movements of fine concept drawn during bullfighting are art. But something is still missing to the “Festa”. Bullfight features warm evenings and mild nights lightly scented by the unmistakable fragrance of a pure cigar. And it’s only when the “elf” emerges on the ring that the “Festa” becomes plenty of dimensions and the illusion is fulfilled, with vivid colors, calm and harmoniously linked movements and pauses of refined esthetic. The art becomes greater with the courage that wins the fear, felt in the joy of the avoided tragedy. Art, inspiration of pictorial “elves” that mixes light, color and feelings on the canvas, recreating bullfight moves and raising emotions. Art becomes art. ]
Pedro Santos
Researcher Zootechnical

Joel Moedas Miguel ~ Historian

[ Bullfighting had appeared in Portugal in the beginning of nationality as a sport to men and horses’ physical and mental preparation to the war, as it happened with hunting and joust. Even if it was a mere training, the technique developed was so beautiful that quickly led to an Art, the Art of Horse Ridding Bullfight, one of the most emblematic Portuguese traditions where the wild animal, the bull, and the Lusitano horse with its unique learning capability interact by the will of Man.
The Portuguese cavalry soon started to develop this art which in its early days, even with a different configuration, was linked with the Roman occupation. The participation of the Royal Family on the bullfights is, therefore, an ancient tradition, as a participant or more and more as a spectator, because in times of peace the bullfight evolved to become an exhibition celebrating important national events, like the one held on 1387 for the occasion of the marriage of King Dom João I and Dona Filipa de Lencastre.
Bullfighting becomes a war allegory in times of peace. A war without enemies, only the will to self-overrun of its participants. In this national sport, as it was called by Eça de Queiroz, there are no teams. The entire arena, the whole society society, all social classes joined the Royal Family wishing that every horseman does well, that every “pega” is successful. Everybody joined in a wishful state of mind and watched an art that celebrated the life of each and every one of them, being up to the difficulties of facing a bull, either on horse or on foot, as they face life's obstacles, solving and overcoming them the best way possible. And the celebration of a job well done, when a javelin is perfectly stabbed or when the bull is subdued in a successful “pega”. In recent history the example of Bullfighter King Dom Miguel and the enthusiasm of the King Dom Carlos left a permanent mark in bullfighting and in the national collective conscience because of the commitment of those who always wanted to serve Portugal.
The painter Maria Sobral Mendonça committed to her art like a horseman commits to a horse ridding bullfight, like a “forcado” embraces the bull, like a King devotes himself to his people, knowing that despite the difficulties, a good work made with determination, always triumphs! ]
Joel Moedas Miguel

José Luís Bahia ~ Designer

[ All that happens in the universe of “Festa Brava”, our traditional and popular bullfight, is complex due to cultural, emotional and technical reasons.
Complex… because of the event and its moral values.
Complex… because of the values and evolution of this art.
Complex… because of the empathy and animosity it creates in our society.
The outcome of the influence of those three components in the orb of “Festa Brava” generates behaviors of great complexity in our society.
The canvas universe that the painter Maria Sobral offers us about this subject, allows us, through her MASTERY, to value and better understand our knowledge about everything that surround us.
José Luís Bahía

João Nunes de Oliveira ~ Author of the book "Praça de Toiros em Portugal"

[ In one of the many conversations that I kept with a known bullfighter and plastic artist, that did and does the favor of being my friend, I approached him with the subject:
“Why bullfighter and artist?"
He answered me in the simplest way, as it is normal with the humble.
- Notice that the two things are just one:
- When I put the blank canvas on the easel it’s the same as walking through the square on the way to the hotel.
- Lining up the brushes, the paints and all the material necessary it’s like dressing up the costume chosen for that day.
- Look to the canvas to begin the work it’s like seeing the crowd that is awaiting form the “patio de quadrilhas”
- The first flick or strike it’s like entering in the arena, which means the dice are rolled.
- From there, the only thing we could do is art, or not. So many canvas spoiled, so many bad bullfights.
- But, one thing is completely true. The artist, being him a bullfighter, a painter, a sculptor, or other art creator, before beginning is work, prays to the Virgin Mary, and the audience reconnaissance only comes after his art is exhibited or the job is completed.
And he concluded:
- The joy that the artist feels when he see what he dreamed of and wants to express appearing on the canvas is the same that the bullfighter feels when he faces the bull, spit a javelin and the crowd stand up in ovation.
For all the reasons that my artist friend gave me that day, I can say that the painter Maria Sobral Mendonça personifies all the above statements and I wish that this “faena” (exhibition) pleases the all audience. ]
João Nunes Oliveira
Author of the book "Praças de Toiros em Portugal"

José Fernando Potier ~ President of the Associação Nacional de Grupos de Forcados

[ There are feelings that only the artists can represent.
Bullfighting is an art and an inspiration to those that, by spirit, genius and art can pass it on.
Any kind of bullfighting, in all of its different ways, can only convert the most complex movements in easy ones, full of emotion and rhythm, when is well interpreted, which only happens when its done by the most capable ones.
The eminent danger that is present in all kinds of bullfighting only results in absolute triumph when the artist executes with the mastery of predestined.
Painting, in its different styles, also gets from bullfighting the passion of those that, with their soul, can represent it in the most sublime way.
With no doubt, the colors, the forms, the expression of the movements of a painting only fulfills us when we get the passion beyond it. Only then there are shared feelings that only the artists can represent. ]
José Fernando Potier
Former Forcado of Grupo de Forcados Amadores de Montemor-o-Novo and President of the Associação Nacional de Grupos de Forcados

Joaquim Grave ~ Breeder of Fighting Bulls

[ Bullfighting and Art
Anyone that has some aesthetic sensibility and that assisted a bullfight has inevitably observed the beauty of this show. May like it or not, can understand more or less its deep meaning but cannot remain insensitive ahead of the forms and colors game. To be filled with this uncommon beauty, with this ballet that cheats death its only need to assist it, and have some sensibility.
This party brightness has multiple reflexes and is always attractive to art. Many artists knew how to find in the mysterious world of bullfighting, where tradition merges with adventure, a subject that becomes so fundamental as religion or portrait.
Painting, for instance, allow us to recover the magic trilogy combination – light, color and movement – of a party that sentimentality focuses on our spirit and our heart.
The stage is a circle, the redondel (circle square where bullfighting occurs) as a magic formula with a geometry invented by the imagination tanned in hundreds of different cultures that, on life, always danced around the sun and shadow dichotomy, and stubbornly got in love with this show that, like no other, is a metaphor of their own lives with defeats and victories. ]
Joaquim Grave
Breeder of fighting bulls

Luís Miguel da Veiga ~ Knight Bullfighting

[ Painting is an art form that I deeply appreciate. As I work with horses and bulls I’m especially touched with Bullfighting being the artist inspiration source. Some great painters have worked this subject since a long time ago as Maria Sobral is doing now. ]
With much admiration,
Luís Miguel da Veiga
Knight Bullfighting

Tiago Prestes ~ Cabo of the Forcados Aposento Chamusca

[ The Handle
Being almost completely a Portuguese show, it naturally offers multiple views of appreciation, according to the origins and even the culture of every spectator.
The artistic evolution done during the handle throughout time brought it a peculiar level of self expression, making it more accessible to outer sensitivities, transforming it in a worldwide admired art. The handle contains in itself a mayhem of emotions and concepts so great that it became a strong inspiration to works of art made by the ..., the pen or the brush, and all those who sensitively reproduce, in their works, the emotions transmitted by a face-to-face, bull and man.
By jumping for the handle, the ... transforms into an artist who, by defying the unpredictable, must have a support on a technique which allows him the domain over the bull, diminishing the risk that fate holds.
The ... must have as bases nobility, honour and humility that are demanded, so that he can establish an intense and artistic dialog with the bull, his partner and collaborator in this fate.
The handle has also, as a background, a mix of heroism and tragedy in all its modalities, which truly impress, and sometimes even lead us to repudiate, but never stop from presenting a very particular beauty and an impressive greatness.
The “Moço do Forcado”, popular hero inspired in the anonymous mobs (?), transports an interesting romance, sometimes followed by intimate and painful tragedy.
When he walks towards the bull clapping his hands and offering his body for the taking, defying his own Death, in a path full of flowers, women smiling, music, claps and encouraging screams, there certainly isn’t any artist who goes freely by such personalities and that freely doesn’t worship them, in a painting, a romance, sculpture or poem. It is Inevitable.
Tiago Prestes
Cabo of the Forcados Aposento Chamusca

Paco Bandeira ~ Musician & Owner of "Monte Azul" of Resident Artists

[ I’ve always herd that God made the Man at His resemblance.
I wonder if the bulls also have a God similar to them?
I believe that it’s more acceptable and easier to believe in the Man version even if I never had a confirmation of that theory.
- God never appeared to me except in form of:
Sun, Rivers, Trees, Flowers, Mountains, Sea, Life, etc. etc.
That’s the way I see, worship and feel Him.
And, in my opinion that’s the way He wants to be seen.-
The bull, because it isn’t intelligent, it’s in our own way simply divine;
Meets up, respecting the Creator.
The Man evolves, pretends, performs and doesn’t respect anything;
The bull is noble, brave, natural;
The Man is weak, fearful, shy; And that’s why he survives, triumphs, command.
The future of the man depends on the fear; the future of the bull paradoxically depends on the man and his weakness.
The struggle between them doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to the spectators that, in this case, are the same.
Ending bullfighting is killing the bulls, all of them! The evolutionist man will only change the venue and the props, because the fight will continue, with or without the bull.
I don’t know which part of me wrote this text; the one that likes the bull or the one that likes bullfighting. ]
Paco Bandeira
Composer and Musician – Owner of “Monte Azul” of Resident Artists, where the artist made the work of the Exhibition “Arte & Toiros”

Rui Nabeiro ~ Commendator

[ Culture is one of the nations’ developing engines. Knowing that, besides the economic development, a strong cultural development must exist, Delta keeps support policy to all initiatives of cultural nature which occurs on a regional or national level.
This exhibition of Maria Sobral Mendonça is about a theme which is very dear to me, to my family and my countrymen: Bullfighting. And, as bullfighting is also a regional developing engine, I had to support this extraordinary association between painting and that show that get so many values together.
With this, moments of rare beauty get perpetuated, like the canvas that illustrates the bullfights’ poster which is a marvelous javelin being stabbed that only the ones who saw it could keep in their minds.
In this way I keep Delta’s social and business responsibility policy, trying in every possible way to promote and to encourage initiatives that contribute in some way to the exaltation of this territory, the Alentejo, cradle of so many social values. Without those values the humanity and particularly Portugal would get much poorer. ]
Rui Nabeiro

Paulo Caetano ~ Knight Bullfighting

[ Goya, Manet, Van Gog, Picasso, Romero, Paula, Manzanares, Morante….
Genial artists. Invaluable works.
One difference: the means by which they express themselves.
One similarity: the way by which they express themselves.
I wrote one day:
“Art is above all an expression of sentiment. However, when we cry or laugh, we are expressing our feelings, but not making art.
...even so, if we can make others understand our emotions, through colours or images, so that who is watching feels as sad or happy as ourselves, then we are making art. Bullfighting is carnal, closer to man than any other artistic way of expression. A paradox, imperfect, beautiful, insecure, ruthless and seductive,
In the end, a faithful picture of the human essence”.
After four decades as an aficionado and an identical period as a toreador, the emotion I feel before a good toureio is still sublime. Lived with an intensity at the same time sweat and harsh, and the certainty of being in the presence of something incomparable.

I still feel equally sympathetic, recognized and drunk of admiration when I look at a work from one of my favourite painters. Because in one and another artistic form, more than the rigour, more than the security of thinking, what matters is the smoothness of movement, the piece of the soul that guides every muletazo or every brush, the determination of the gesture, the expression of eternity of what is produced by the soul in comparison with the fragility of what is produced by the mind.
I believe that the true painting, alike the true bullfight, is done with the spirit, and endures beyond the image or the arena, as it is glued into us, and reveals itself in our memory, as long as we have the ability to be emotional.
These humble words came from within my pen, with the genuinity of the work of Maria Sobral Mendonça.
I feel honoured, because one of our most beautiful cities, where we saw unforgettable faenas, is the floor of the gallery of an exposition with such talent as
this one.
Paulo Caetano
Knight Bullfighting