20 June 2019 | Rodrigo_Amaro
A fine short about Brazil's "80's Generation" insights about their art
Art enthusiasts will find in "Spray Jet" a nice short film about plastic arts in the 1980's whose young artists got their breakthorugh with great works that
weren't pretentious or fully conceptual. Here in Brazil, in between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, those artists were known as the 80's generation. This precious
gem stars three of important names of such group all based in São Paulo - the late Leonilson (1957-1993), Leda Catunda and Ciro Cozzolino, who all share their
views about their views on art and what they produce and paint, and the possible future for their projects.
The film's title is slightly misleading except for the introduction where we see young street artists spraying on a wall until the police arrives and arrest one of
them. It just goes to show the current street art scene (which was the graffitti painted on walls or buildings) but that topic isn't brought up by the artists. It's
only that sequence and the main song written by Lobão and Bernardo Vilhena that gives such notion. Leonilson, Leda and Cozzolino were all part of the 80's Generation -
a group of young plastic artists from Rio and São Paulo who had similar aesthetics, ideas and perceptions while trying to break up with the conceptual art forms of the
1970; it was a new generation that managed to present their works, paintings, fabrics, and succeed with that all the way through the early 1990's.
The trio talk about their works and their take on art and what it means to them. As evidenced by another documentary I watcher afterwards, Leonilson definitely
deserves his self-acclaimed title as "The most well-known". Of the trio, he's the one who presents the most interesting insights, views and opinions about what he does
with his art, the future of it and at a such young age he really know what goes on when it comes to artistic presentations and its importance to viewers. But at the end
they all reveal their work, a collaborative and inspired gathering of their own paitings.
On personal levels I liked "Spray Jet" because it showed me a variation of things I haven't heard or knew about it and it was magnificent. São Paulo art scene
in the 1980's, bright, vivid, real and colorful and filled with diversity from genders, races and sexuality all exposing what they had in their inner self or
reflecting life as it was. Since this is a short film and just presents a brief view about what the then current art was to then, I'll recommend "A Paixão de JL" and
"Leonilson, sob o Peso dos Meus Amores" which are foccused on Leonilson's works, life and death, and with those films you can get a wider scope about his importance on
that scenery, and how the plastic works were perceived and praised by its contemporaries. I'd like to see films about Leda Catunda and Ciro Cozzolino as well but so
far, all the register from that time comes from film and another short film that vanished from view and doesn't even have a credit here.
On a final analyses their art hasn't died, many followed their paths and art has become more accessible to people not just because it's everywhere but simply because
in that group case they were completely pretentious; they reflected what they saw and what they lived. As for the graffitti, on a personal level, it's only art when
there's more than just a strange form/pattern of imaginative "hand writing"; it has to show images, messages, some concept or even some homage to other form of arts.
To spray "guy loves some girl" is idiotic - romantic for the couple though - or just put some signature everywhere goes the same way but protesting against social/political injustices or sharing thoughts are all welcome
because that kind of work grow on you, makes you think and analyze not just the message but how it is conveyed. Life is art, art is life. 9/10