“Night in the Tropics” by Bruno 9Li
“Night in the Tropics” is a series of drawings started in an immersive experience in Amazonia with the art indigenous collective MAHKU / Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin (Huni Kuin art movement). Night in the Tropics consists of very detailed, intense and sharp line drawings made of black ink on paper. I think that ink drawings have this direct connection between an state of mind and its process. It’s direct, that’s why I decided to dedicate to that language just to give to the drawings as fresh substance as I could. For this series of works I have renounced color as a philosophical act, just to propose a mode in which I could experiment reality considering the simplicity of black and white.
About the forms represented in my drawings; I aimed a joyful way to deal with Brazilian and amazonian imagery, popular culture and deep experiences with the Huni Kuin myths. The forest, specially through the Huni Kuin lens, is the theme and form the atmosphere for “Night in the Tropics”. The sacred tea Ayahuska (or “Nixi Pãe” in Huni Kuin language) is represented by the many vines that crosses in a wiry way good part of the drawings. I aimed to transmute, in a very personal way, my perceptions of the forest, the way Huni Kuin (the people of the boa constrictor myth) live Amazonia and its enchantments.
There is a popular, generous and seductive feeling in these drawings, a kind of affective presence. Those animals represented in “Night in the Tropics” impose a personality and also can remind like the first representations of Brazil from the European travelers that painted the Brazilian flora, fauna and culture in the beginning of XIX century (Debret, Taunay and Rugendas), but they come in this very personal form in its comic and mysterious presence. I also aimed to bring different icons of Amazonia/Brazil to pervert them with iconic popular cartoon from North America – there are small “intruders” in most of the drawings – like an ambiguous presence of a deep intricate and very detailed drawings with popular culture.
Bruno Novelli was born in 1980 in Brazil. Novelli is a founder of the Universidade Autoindicada por Entidades Livres, a loose bundle classes and training programs promoting interdisciplinary artistic endeavors. With a production developed in different supports, including paintings, drawings, digital productions and metagraphic maps, Bruno Novelli, who also goes by the name Bruno 9li (nove meaning nine in Portuguese), has garnered attention for paintings of fantastic creatures and intricate drawings in pattern like ink works. Novelli’s paintings and videos feature enigmatic images, in which otherworldly entities, northern figures, dynamic
geometric forms, and an encrypted alphabet strangely align. He has a deep interest in
Amazonian rituals and narratives, the process of drawing and painting, and experimentations with digital languages.
Novelli’s work has been exhibited in his native Brazil, as well as internationally in England, Denmark, Spain, Japan and the United States. Novelli lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. “Night in the Tropics” is Bruno 9Li’s third solo show with Anno Domini since his debut solo exhibition in 2007 A.D.