São Paulo-based artist Marcos Tedeschi (born 1982) calls himself “a painter with psychological problems, producer of some subaltern art”. His work is raw and disturbing, an unabashed catalogue of ugliness. Deformed or incomplete pieces of human flesh are visible throughout – usually in situations of torture and chaos and disillusionment. Marcos says that his recurrent themes are “loneliness, medicine, pornography, religion and the individual human attitude facing situations of rejection/acceptance”. His art is not a search for truth or understanding. It just seeks a way of rationalising existential confusion. He hopes to expose individuals to the fact that they are perishable and no agent – mode of knowledge or activity – however promising, can cure or overcome this simple and harsh reality.
On medicine, religion and pornography, Marcos comments: “Medicine can only prolong life, not immortalise it. Religion can immortalise life only after death. This is what makes a human being emotionally sick, perplexed and alone in his own existence. Neither his doctors nor his God/gods seem to ultimately fulfill his needs and desires on earth. As far as pornography is considered, I want to show the hollowness of the pursuit that can only achieve liberation inside four walls. It supposedly proposes an ideal of freedom but does so by imprisoning people, limiting them.”
On his place and position as an artist in Brazil, Marcos says, “Indeed most of the people who appreciate my work are from other countries. My fellow Brazilians, when they see my work, too quickly get uncomfortable and ashamed, even angry.” He is critical of his countrymen. “Most Brazilians are hypocrites. We are a nation full of lies. Did you see the World Cup or the Olympics? They were terrible! So much money injected. Our politicians would never put it in education or health or culture. Like most children, I was raised with the idea that art is the privilege of a very tiny part of the population – the rich and the enlightened. Those of us who are not wealthy have to constantly respond to a whole set of questions – ‘Why are you doing this?’, ‘Is this giving you money?’, ‘Why don’t you get a real job?’ If I had to tell you what my country does for my work, I would say that it shows me a lot of anger, lies, sadness, desolation – it gives me my material. But also, the sadness in the face of the people takes away some of my cynicism, after I have finished painting, I tend to become more human.”
Marcos is inspired by painters Salvador Dalí and Francis Bacon. He says, “Dalí was the first of them who said: ‘Go on! You are already a freak, have fun!’ My first books of art were about him. Then Bacon came and showed the inside of a human. Dalí always was for me a beautiful liar. He didn’t know mankind, all his paintings were only about himself. Then, when I was almost giving up art, I went to an exhibition and saw two works by Francis Bacon. My life changed and I said to myself, ‘That’s it! Your life starts here.'” Lately, Marcos has been engaging with and learning from the paintings of Marlene Dumas, Jenny Saville, Paula Rego.
Marcos feels that since he has not been under a very influential personal teacher or guru, he has the freedom to test with a variety of media and themes. But he thinks he is constrained by geography. He might move to Europe, to Portugal perhaps, in the future and hopes he will find a much better environment to operate as an artist there.
Check out Marcos’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/marcostedeschiart), Artmajeur (www.artmajeur.com/en/member/marcos-tedeschi-elias) and Saatchi Art (www.saatchiart.com/al1n3) pages. Marcos is represented by Galeria Plural (galeriaplural.com.br) in São Paulo – his works can also be directly purchased from their site.