Mauro Piva


Jun  1 – Jul  1, 2006

Galeria Fortes Vilaça

A project by Mauro Piva, inspired by the book The Little Prince, will occupy Gallery 2 in Fortes Vilaça in June. The artist is presenting a series of watercolors in which he blends his imagistic universe that that of the French author and aviator. Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) wrote and illustrated The Little Prince in 1943, in the middle of the Second World War, during which he was a pilot in the French air force. The perspective in Mauro Piva's drawings have always approached an aerial view, and his themes have always involved a certain existentialist search, which could indicate prior affinities with the world of The Little Prince up to now unknown to the public.

The exhibition begins with a group of watercolors, mounted on a sheet of PVC, which show Mauro Piva's character interacting with elements and with spaces that are related to the asteroid B612, the little prince's "house." The drawings escape metaphor and interpret the world imagined by Saint-Exupéry with precision: the character is drawn with the rose, with the sheep inside the box, with the volcano, etc.; still within this group of images, Piva makes use of elements such as doors and windows to transform the house of the fable into the house usually inhabited by his characters.

The other drawings, individually framed, are more independent and show each of the planets that the little prince visited, all filtered through Piva's imagery. It is as if the crown on his character's head indicates not an imaginary royalty, but a real distinction, which exists concretely in the life of all people: "until what point are we not kings of our own houses, of our own little worlds and of our own little lives?" Piva asks.

Mauro Piva will have this month a solo show in the Léo Bahia Gallery, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Some of his recent exhibitions include the group shows The Portrait as Image of the World, in the Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, in 2005, Instinctive – Latin American Artists Selected by Mario Testino, in the Andrea Rosen Gallery, in New York, and the 11th Salon of Bahia, at the Museu de Arte Moderna da Bahia, Brazil, both in 2004.