Fruits of Labor
(Para seu prazer)
Fruits of Labor (para seu prazer) is a project which began upon my return to Brazil after 14 years away.
It is a project which looks at space: What is domestic and commercial? What spaces do we live in? What spaces do we merely transit? Which spaces do we brand as important? Which spaces brand us?
Starting in 2018 while I was an artist in residence at SOMA galeria, where I shared the residency space with Uruguayan artist Silvina Rodriguez and we found a common fascination with painting and cataloging supermarket brands. For me it was a continuation of my ceramic research stemming from my tiles in the Grass is Greener series from the previous year. For Silvina it was a part of her Souvenir project where she creates unlikely tourist trinkets for the places she visits. Our shared project, dubbed Janta®, picked from the common interest of visual absorption and symbology as ways of identifying a place and who we are when in it, we immersed ourselves in a 12 hour dinner production. Painted plates served as support on which each guest could arrange, based on personal preference, colorful abstraction intercut with slices of branding. Logos dotted the table, a visual collage which blended the public and domestic, the perishable and the permanent. Remnants of this dinner were shown at SOMA Galeria in March of 2018 and later reconfigured and installed at Casa Viva in São Paulo.
In 2021 I was invited to expand upon the Janta® project by SOMA galerist Malu Meyer. The exhibition, which would become Fruits of Labor, was offered as a way to inaugurate the new gallery space which now occupies a modernist house from 1962. Talking with the gallery and curator Renan Archer, I decided to occupy a room adjacent to the kitchen with over one hundred pieces which when seen together answer no questions and ask more. It is as it is.
It is a tableau of domesticity and daily life, except the volume is turned up too loud. A family history told in the form of a grocery list. It is buying flowers because you know you will have guests over for dinner.
The brands which were originally confined under glaze to plates now lay atop fruit. Artificial grass, cut and painted so as to look burned, serve as tablecloths and plinths. Body containers hold bunches of ceramic flowers. The plates hang on the walls just as they do in our grandmothers' homes. All is routine. All is familiar. All is home. All is autobiographical for those who share slices of the same biography and all is self portrait for those who share the same favorite flavor of Cheetos.