I first discovered Tiradentes in 1965, with Maria Fernanda, Othon Bastos, Isolda Cresta, the legendary Priest Nereu and the conductor and composer maestro Edino Krieger. At that time, we staged at the Solar dos Ramalho an adaptation of O Romanceiro da Inconfidência, by Cecilia Meirelles. We had first done the play at Teatro Villa Rica, in Ouro Preto, during one of the first winter festivals, and, on our return, we did the play again in Tiradentes, with great attendance by many tiradentinos". At that time, Tiradentes was the same, but also very different from today. Equal, because everything that made it unique, its people and new inhabitants and its magnificent Mountains and the Main Church, the little jewel box that is Igreja do Rosario, where I married Cidinha, the heights of São Francisco, so visible from my studio, the Old Fountain, inclined as the Pathenon, the little train and all of its harmonious whole, so beautifully human... All the houses that had beaten the destructive modernism were there, Padre Toledo` naughty room, the future Jailhouse Pinakotec. All the stones. Well, I never thought that, years later I was going to live there with my daughter Anaí , for so many years, and see our twins Octavio and Victtoria being born, and running by this Ladeira da Matriz, that I love so, and where I was at my happiest. Yes, Tiradentes gave me the opportunity of a happy and joyous painting, radiant but not arrogant, new and transparent. Intuitively, thinking a lot and, I developed my work little by little. It`s clear that the radiance and joy of my paintings of Tiradentes, Ouro Preto, Catas Altas and all of Minas Gerais visions is a personal construction. However, it was in Tiradentes, with its gentle and smooth palette, that I gained the most insight into the barroque, and of the mountains of Minas, since the barroque is the lines, the joy, the freedom, the volutas, the sensuality. The barroque is me.
In Tiradentes, I built my most beautiful studio, and throughout these years, many friends and visitors from all over the world are coming.
So, after five years of living and painting Bahia and Ceará, their seas ,beaches, and houses, here I am back painting Tiradentes, in a imaginary revisit.
I dedicate this exposition to Zizinha, my friend and neighbor, recently deceased, but that did not go away... as everything in this place. As Tiradentes, Zizinha stayed, for so many good and lovely motives. Saudades of Zizinha, Saudades of Tiradentes.
It is also dedicated to Cidinha, and Ângela e Guilherme.