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Event Information

Fri, May 05


New York

Look What I Found!

Sometimes it takes an Outsider Artist to remind us how the unconscious serves not only as a powerful source of inspiration but the only source that results in truly compelling art. Brazilian American artist and former monastic scholar, Carlos DeMedeiros, is often associated with ‘Outsider Art.’

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Look What I Found!
Look What I Found!

Time & Location

May 05, 2023, 7:00 PM – Jun 16, 2023, 7:00 PM

New York, 224 W 30th St, New York, NY 10001, USA

About The Event

DeMedeiros’ fascinating biography with its many unexpected twists and turns has left him with a remarkably fertile imagination and an obsessively compulsive exploration of the visual world. Born in Cabo Frio, Brazil, Carlos was raised in a Catholic household, enlisted in the Brazilian Navy at seventeen years old, then knocked on the monastery door to live the life of a monk. It was during those years of prayer and service that Carlos started cultivating his unique artistic brilliance. Many years later, Carlos discovered his Jewish roots and was featured in the documentary, Children of the Inquisition, tracing the journeys of families who were forced to convert to Catholicism during the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions.

After seventeen years in the monastery, and many tests of his faith, Carlos went on a pilgrimage to the United States before making the commitment of priesthood. Upon his return to Bolivian monastery, he made the decision to leave the monastic life. DeMedeiros traveled back to the United States and eventually made the move permanent to start a new life with his now husband. Carlos got his citizenship with the help of Hillary, yes that Hillary.

Perhaps it is because English is not the artist’s first language that the layers of verbal puns come alive, and the invisible poetry becomes visible. The themes in DeMedeiros’ work touches the often-fraught intersections of religious authority, politics, subculture, pop culture, and alternative sexuality – a kind of “outsider” Pop Art, urban-folkloric with a splash of Fluxus anarchy and sensual Neo-Dada.

Self-taught or not, artists reflect their environment and circumstance. Aspects of an artist’s life are very much relevant to discussing the art itself. Lawrence is young man living with autism, and Carlos is his caretaker. Carlos has what can only be described as a gift, an uncanny way of communicating and understanding the sometimes-catatonic Lawrence.  They find common ground in the art they create together. Their combined history and challenges, specific to their identity, inform the body of work they have been making collectively for seventeen years. It's a story of hope and love and understanding and acceptance.

The Robots, tenderly drawn by Carlos, embrace Lawrence who responds with his own gesture and mark-making style of communication. The connection manifests into  thousands of paper receipts, strips of colorful robots, turning into a complex visual narrative. They are glimpses into a life dedicated to Carlos’s  plunge into the unconscious and his commitment to Lawrence.  In a way, Lawrence speaks a foreign language. Proust said that the best novels always seem to be written in a foreign language. When put into the context of visual art, one can believe that Carlos and Lawrence have taken on the responsibility of keeping its foreignness alive.

Carlos DeMedeiros’ insightful and sophisticated work has been acknowledged internationally. His work has been exhibited at the New York Public Library, The Art Students League of New York (where it garnered several awards), 80 Washington Square East Galleries, and numerous galleries in Central and South America. Recent notable exhibits include The Ties That Bind for Trinity School's 300th anniversary, Art and Activism at Bluffton University, Ohio, and Outsider Art Fair in New York City. For the Sing for Hope, Street Pianos Project, Mr. DeMedeiros created twenty pianos which were displayed throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Mr. DeMedeiros’ work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Upcoming exhibition: 5th Homosurrealism at Resistance Gallery in London.

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