António Olaio
RAR Collection 2021

...António Olaio has established an unparalleled presence in the context of the Portuguese visual arts. By virtue of his multi-disciplinary approach, he has been a forerunner in areas in which visuality, sound, poetry and performance intersect in an idiosyncratic creative dynamic.These aspects of António Olaio's creative career gain relevance in this proposal for “Um Olhar sobre a Rar” (RAR Seen By) to the extent that the works echo his complex universe. His drawings correspond to a series of performative gestures, in which the gaze is extended through the capture of ethereal moments, of disarming banality. However, it is these gestures which, on a daily basis, ensure the viability of a careful production that the artist captures in the essence of its suggested movement.

The characters portrayed do not reveal their own individual identity. Instead they are edifying abstractions of the notion of work. The machines seem to humanise themselves through mutant formalisation. The different volumes acquire informal configurations, sometimes bringing them closer to natural elements...

Unlike photography and the famous paradigm of this was, in this case drawing opens up the possibility of a fruitful transit between the represented and the imagined. We could say that it opens up the possibility of the collapse of the past and future in creative reception.

The gestures, shapes and stories refer to a primordial uncertainty: this could be the universe of the RAR Group twenty years ago and could also represent the nature of the coming decades (at least, we hope so!).

One thing is certain: no one would address what is represented herein with the same unique approach. Hence the curiosity of his signature within the drawings themselves. Instead of writing his name, he uses a kind of logo, a floating head with a beam of light, symbolising the gaze: that unique gaze which the artists return to us, with singular creativity.

Miguel von Hafe Pérez

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