Camille Kachani’s fantastical touch transforms found, utilitarian objects into whimsical sculptures. Among his new works, the wooden bases of hammers, cabinet drawers, and light switches foster plant life, sprouting roots, branches, and greenery, while still maintaining the essence of their original functionality. The energy inherent to Kachani’s fresh works is found in surplus at São Paulo’s Zipper Galeria, and this fall the gallery brings a vibrant selection of its equally distinctive and dynamic artists to Rio de Janeiro’s international art fair, ArtRio.
Photographs from Brazilian artist João Castilho’s “Zoo” series are also on view, depicting exotic animals in domestic interiors. These works, like Macao, where a small monkey sits on a shelf beside a candelabra, and Tamanduá Bandeira, where an anteater walks across a bed, are simultaneously playful and foreboding. Developed in deep, rich tones, they suggest the looming potential of wild animals for danger and the animal nature of human beings.
Alongside Castilho’s images, Colombian photographer Adriana Duque’s classic portraits feature stoic little girls in elaborately staged environments. In the recent photographs being shown at ArtRio, her use of inky black backdrops, costume and scenery from a bygone era, and careful attention to light recall the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and Dutch Old Master traditions. The unblemished, luminous faces of the young girls are reflected in complementary light-filled windows, creating tranquil yet intriguing compositions that lead the viewer to wonder what lies beyond the picture frame.
Other highlights include the mixed-media creations of São Paulo-based street artist Zezão—assemblages made from lengths of wood, and streets signs that are finished with his painted electric blue logotype—and text works by Daniel Escobar, including UPPER (from the series The new promess) (2014), composed of 78 lottery tickets and gold thread.