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URUCU is the latest piece from Procedural Artist MGXS Fernando Magalhães. The NFT comes with 5 pigment prints on Washi, it was done in Japan in collaboration with Tokyo based Gallery The Fridge and each piece is unique and signed by the artist.
April 12th 2021 interview of MGXS Fernando Magalhães on his latest and most advanced work to date: URUCU.
By Julien David, @TheFridgeTokyo
What was the first time you considered that one of your visual and digital experimentation was a piece of Art?
The first time is when I worked on the piece “Adam”. I realized while working on it I needed to do more and continue to push the obsession I had because it actually connects to my past and it is Art in a personal sense. There is something much stronger than just doing images, it turns out the pieces have a life on their own.
I am the painter but also, I am the observer.
What is the most satisfying part for you when you create?
There are 2 things, first I need to break down the system into small pieces and understand deeply how it works. The second thing is when I run the system, I can see all the possibilities because of the generative aspect of what I do and it’s like discovering something totally new, discovering it for the first time! So, in that sense I am the painter but also, I am the observer, and It is a very satisfying feeling.
Please tell us more about the process to create your pieces.
The hardest part in the process is always to create the shapes, the structure and find the right balance in the geometry. You can think of it has the light coming into the vitrail of a church, it has to compose itself beautifully. I need to read and understand what the piece is telling me, but I can’t dictate it.
Using the computer, I found the tools that are the best to transfer my ideas into a piece and to achieve the result I want. I use the machine in an unusual way, going into the little corners, finding the hidden gaps where I can see the light I’m after.
I use a measurements method where I try to find relation between patterns and use various seeds and noises to experiment with these patterns. It’s all algorithms, I work on the formula, adding things and taking some away generating different outputs. As a generative artist you create a set of rules which guides your work.
Explore the huge number of possibilities.
Since you created your first piece “Adam” and until now your latest piece URUCU, what has changed?
When I did Adam, it was by luck, URUCU is how far I got, pushing it as much as possible, using all the technics that I have learnt along the way. The idea for me is to define the boundaries and play within them, explore the huge number of possibilities. URUCU is really stretching the range to its maximum.
What is the intention with this new piece URUCU?
I wanted to combine Japan Samurai Warriors and Indigenous Groups at the roots of Brazil, I saw similarities between them and found ways to visually fit the references together by listening to what the artwork was saying and find what was relevant and what wasn’t. I tried so many variations, I was looking for something, but I didn’t know what exactly. I choose a direction, open it up as much as possible, and feel what the piece needs giving it its meaning.
I control the system but the artwork itself shall appear naturally, I let it run its course, I don’t want to interfere.
The 2 mediums complete each other, the digital is the full augmentation of the piece, but the substance is on the paper.
This is the first time you are making a physical piece, what made you decide to go ahead and create 5 unique Pigment Prints on washi which capture some of the states of the URUCU Animation.
It’s a totally different sensation, on the computer it’s so easy, you have so many options, it never ends, in the physical world, you lose this, it’s much harder.
Because of the process attached to the physical object, there is a different meaning, it’s not only the image itself. The 2 mediums complete each other, the digital is the full augmentation of the piece, but the substance is on the paper. You have the body and the mind. One does not exist without the other.
How did the name URUCU came to you?
The name URUCU come from this red paint in Brazil, it’s extracted from a flower and it’s used by indigenous people to paint patterns as an armor onto the naked body. URUCU is so simple as an idea, it comes from nature. The visual aspect of the word URUCU was also important for me, the R and the C are very strong, the repetition of the U too, the composition is almost like a pattern too.
Where do you think Japan and Brazil connect? And how did you express it in that piece?
Japanese culture for me is really strong, I watched a lot of anime in my childhood like Saint Seiya for example, I was also exposed to martial arts, it was little bit a dream for me to think that one day maybe I could go live in Japan. In Brazil, there are a lot references to Japan, a lot of areas are influenced by Japan, a lot fusion going on.
In this project I tried to blend those two cultures, revisiting parts of their roots and re- imagine a parallel past where Brazil and Japan are connected.