Writing about this exhibition with a narrative is really bizarre because in it, I'm a character that pops in and out of it while communicating with people, be it live or by the world wide web.
Since I was a child, I couldn't understand the world where we human beings lived in with all the love or hate that defines us as a species.
Some people love me, others hate me because I truly believe that all our memories must be intact in this life,
I can't be a double in it like American actor Buster Keaton was or a mistery man like American director David Lynch is, mainly because I love simple words mixed with images in life where time always dwell in our minds as human beings, being ourselves trapped, busted and even lynched by the notion of time.
|Time as an illusion|
|The notion of time and feelings in one of the best movies that I've watched "2046" by Wong Kar Wai|
|We see what we really want to see while appreciating art|
|A puzzle of words that while being divided form other words, thoughts and emotions|
|First picture of myself that turned into a poster for the first identity exhibition that I've curated with help by international artists in January 2017 with their own selportraits|
|First poster with text for the first identity exhibition designed by Argentine artist Mr Ed|
|Second poster with text for the first identity exhibition designed by Argentine artist Mr Ed|
The main idea in my head while curating this exhibition as a character in it was to see art in movement all over the city where I was born in order to people know a bit more about arts in it and the feedback is awesome, since people google the artists works while asking me who are they in Porto and buy books from them online, so I've tried to create this movement with simple things as personalized t-shirts that are always in movement with my body, heart and soul, because I truly love the artists that worked with me in the past, present and that will work with me in the future without any boundaries, only simple friendship.
|Personalized T-shirt with an original drawing that was sent as a a gift to me by French artist Walter Minus in December 2015|
|Personalized T-shirt with permission to use a drawing by one of the best artists that I know the Swedish artist Max Andersson - August 2017|
|Personalized T-shirt with permission to use a drawing by legendary artist David Lloyd with Hellblazer character in it - July 2017|
|Picture of myself that served as raw material that Spanish artist Daniel Esteve used in order to do the alternative poster for this exhibition|
Sometimes I do wonder about what the future will be in a question of a simple narrative in this world.
Questions emerge in my mind such as:
- Who are we as human beings?
- Are we smarter than simple animals or the various forms and life of other living beings that live in this blue planet simply because we comunicate differently from them?
- What will we become in the near future?
- What will be of our memories with our family and the people that we've loved, love or will love?
I know that my family bounds were always strong since I had to see my grandfather dying because of his principles when I was a small child, my other granfather with the same name as me, dying of terminal cancer when I was getting married and my grandmother was murdered by a car in the same year.
I know that I love all my family, be them in Australia, U.S.A, France or Portugal and I'm sure that they do love me back.
I recently remember that I was walking with my youngest niece Letícia of 6 years old and my brother César while observing the river and that she was telling me about how the wolves were from other people point of view as a bad animal and telling me also that she started to learn the alphabet in school.
When I've arrived home, I saw a beautiful drawing by Argentine artist Mr ED of a wolf and a little girl with long hair like Rapunzel character (just like my niece Letícia) reading a book with letters exploding from the book while she was sitting in a wolf.
I imediately asked Mr Ed if I could have it personalized for my niece and he did personalize the drawing that was later printed in a mug for her to drink her milk and remember that moment with me, because she's my family and she loves being with me almost all my spare time like all my nieces and nephews did and do when they're in Portugal.
|Personalized drawing to my niece Letícia by Argentine artist Mr Ed|
|My youngest niece Letícia holding her personalized mug with pride and love|
|Picture of myself and my youngest niece Letícia in Porto's streets|
|Picture of myself and my youngest niece Letícia in Porto's metro|
|Picture with my brothers César and Pedro and 4 of my nieces Lara, Luzia, Letícia and Isaura|
|Picture of myself and my nieces Luzia and Isaura playing hide and seek|
|Picture with my nieces Lara, Luzia and Isaura|
|Playing with my niece Luzia|
|My nephews Sandro and Leandro and my nieces Luzia and Isaura that are in France|
|My nephew Sandro with my nieces Lara and Letícia|
|Hugging my nephew Sandro after 11 years of not being with him in Porto|
|The smallest and youngest member of the family with 7 months, my nephew Emídio|
People that I've loved, people that loved me back, moments with friends or with my family and I do start to believe that they're right, because if we've a story to tell, we must tell them in a simple way with all its mysteries, secrets and ups and downs because life's the most precious gift that we've along our memories in it.
So after writing several prefaces for books in Portugal or organizing arts events, I remember starting organizing book collections for Fantagraphics books that is a book company that's based in Seattle - U.S.A as a consultant editor in a team effort with Fantagraphics team spirit and international artists while I was also curating exhibitions with help by the greatest artists in the world and in several locations and I was receiving personalized books and artworks from them as a small token of appreciation for the work that I was doing and I didn't quite knew why was this happenning because they were some of the artists that illustrated or wrote some books that I've read since I was a teenager in several languages and I couldn't believe in all this, so I started doing interviews to the artists in this same blogue, because books are knowledge in my opinion.
|Picture taken by an American photographer in Porto with me surrounded by books |
I remember artists praising my work, people from all over the world praising the books that I've helped turning into reality with my mind, sweat, laughter and some tears with Fantagraphics team spirit present in them, in the world wide web, newspapers, magazines, comic book festivals that I couldn't attend due to personal reasons .
|Second Crepax Fantagraphics book organized by me and Fantagraphics team with my intro for the collection|
|The whole bundle that was organized by me and Fantagraphics as a team . Book, Booklet and game|
|Second Crepax Fantagraphics limited booklet organized by me and Fantagraphics team with help by international artists|
|American Artist Bob Burden and Spanish artist Javier Olivares|
|Argentine artist Santiago Caruso and American artist Benjamin Marra|
|British artist Rian Hughes and Mexican artist Tony Sandoval|
|American artists Roberta Gregory and Peter Kuper|
|Italian artist Sergio Ponchionne and French artist Walter Minus|
|Personalized book with a drawing of the character Corto Maltese created by Italian maestro Hugo Pratt by Spanish maestro - Ruben Pellejero|
|Personalized book "Las meniñas" with a drawing by Spanish maestro - Javier Olivares|
|Artwork as a gift by Argentine artist Mr Ed|
|Artwork as a gift for an exhibition that I've curated in Helsinki - Finland and where I had a conversation panel scheduled to Finnish public to talk about Fantagraphics Books and that I couldn't be present due to my personal life by Argentine artist Mr Ed - 01|
|Artwork as a gift for an exhibition that I've curated in Helsinki - Finland and where I had a conversation panel scheduled to Finnish public to talk about Fantagraphics Books and that I couldn't be present due to my personal life by Argentine artist Mr Ed - 02|
|Book with a preface written by me by Portuguese artist Paulo Pinto|
|book sent to me by Fantagraphics|
|Personalized book by American legend legend Beto Hernandez sent by to me by my cousin Vincent Dominion|
|Personalized book by American legend legend Charles Burns sent by to me by my cousin Vincent Dominion|
|Personalized book with a preface by me by Portuguese artist Paulo Pinto |
While I was finishing this exhibition imediate feedback came from boémia caffe customers that sometimes asked me personally who were those excellent artists exhibited and since their names were on a list next to the poster for it, I was always telling them that they should google them and see his works, buy books or artworks from them since they were the best artists in the world and I know that some people came to see this and other exhibitions that I've curated in Porto from several countries, so my hometown was and always will be my one of my main strengths in the work that I do.
Identity isn't a game and I'm not a super hero, I'm simply a guy from Porto and I always loved my pets and my family
I've tried being the book character "wally" created by Martin Handford in the city where I was born, but suddenly in my personal memories, I do remember being at other cities in Porto and abroad.
Being a character is trying to observe what's going on in life while receiving feedback from everywhere, be it personally, by phone, email or social networks.
I'm not Mourinho and I don't play mind games or counter attack since life isn't a soccer game.
I'm not Marcello Mastroianni lost in the best Fellini movie and one of the movies of my life named 8 and a half, searching for his identity or his memories in a dream or amnesiac state.
I'm not David Thewliss on Mike Leigh's "Naked" motion picture talking about the Apocalypse and asking simple questions that weren't answered by human beings.
I'm not the character Hellblazer that was created by british writer Alan Moore with all his inner demons or ghosts stalking his mind, spirit or soul while destroying his body.
I'm a simple John Doe from Porto as described in Wilhelm Reich's book "Listen little man" that tries to gather all his memories within himself with all these characters and several songs and arts that dwell in my mind while trying to do my job, be it curating exhibitions all over the world, be it organizing book collections, be it being consultant editor at Fantagraphics while communicating with the president of this book company Gary Groth, be it editing books, be it writing prefaces or when I do try to sleep while thinking that I'm only a guy from Porto that loves books in movement, arts, people, friendship, love, family, animals, cities, countries, languages, communication, pets, while I try to not get confused in my emotions by several noise that life atracts several times because of money or social status.
I walk miles in the city of Porto, I was and I am lost several times in thoughts in it, I've gazed at all the magnificient artworks that were being sent for me to try curate this exhibition in order for people to know who all these artists were, their countries of birth, their books and their memories that appear sometimes in their books.
The feedback of this exhibition and narrative is being awesome all over Porto.
Many thanks to all the artists who believed in my ideas and still do (and you are more than 200 hundred from several countries) and that helped a simple exhibition about identity with a narrative and with your excellent works and some words by me, being something useful, because without identity we're nothing but zombies in this life craving for fame and sucess instantly without any work at all based only on what we see on social networks or with bad communication.
Special thanks to Argentine artist Mr Ed by being always by my side on all the exhibitions curated by me when sometimes I couldn't properly think, to Spanish artist Daniel Esteve for the design of the poster for it, to my family and my kitty Ilvie that clearly are my main sources of inspiration along a simple thing called direct and simple communication.
Da mui nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto
Manuel Espírito Santo