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Diogo Navarro 'These Is More To The Heart Than Meets The Eye'
Catalogue of paintings by Diogo Navarro, 2015
Galeria Art Lounge, Lisbon, Portugal


Diogo has been growing inside as he expands and allows his thoughts to expand in what he paints. He does it little by little with the paintbrush and spatula, and colours from many colours, making firm steps towards the existential principle of the possibility to transcend himself.

Someone said that genius is eternal patience, and Diogo, on this road to genius also goes slowly, seeking and finding in the purest heuristic process, new lines, new forms, new colours, new things in the world in which he transforms himself, merges and is the world by being increasingly more himself.

The colours that Diogo prefers to use are the many colours that give life to what he thinks and to what he feels, to what he lives and with whom he socialises here or anywhere else, somewhere in the world, someone with an inner certainty, in a geography that he invents and cuts out in flowers and hearts.

He lives the present, but he also lives the past from where he draws the archetypes he uses and which he calls for example, Grandparents, Minho, North, which he calls primal scream, and that are always included in the colours he uses to express himself, systematically deconstructing the runic letters that the Celts took from the Vikings and brought to this North that he loves so much. And it is with the runic alphabet that Dagar, Isa, Othala, Gebo, Othala wrote Diogo. Because it is in Run, that means whisper but also wise, he who practices the secret arts of magic that Diogo whispers in the horses' ears, and of life, and then paints hearts and golden thread, like those from the Celtic legend of that druid who seeing his beloved queen's heart stop, took out the heart of a slave and placed it in that place from where he had taken the queen's and then sewed it up with golden thread that gave her life once again in order to continue to give birth seven or eight times a year, perhaps the number of languages that Diogo uses in his painting.

And Diogo takes out his own heart and gives it beating with beauty to the runes, he throws it on to the canvas with an objective, a question, a purpose, and especially with the concern of someone who endeavours to understand the beauty that exists in the gesture that he brings with him and that paints what he feels and thinks.

Interestingly enough, the runic alphabet begins with an F and ends with an 0, F for filigrana (filigree) and O for Ouro (Gold) that embellish the necks of the ladies from Minho and that Diogo paints in the paintings in this exhibition. And this is how he communicates and brings together what departs from him and comes back to him when he goes in search of the other, that being in him it is in the world that he untiringly covers, in a stunning pursuit of his archetypes and his avatars, who have always and even today have constructed and deconstructed him, like a heart that beats or a flower that opens.

By car, by train, by boat or by plane Diogo travels through places, forgotten in the time he spends, that time that is always immensely greater than the place. He goes to the Viana do Castelo of his childhood memories, to the North where he loses his north, and gets caught up in the festivities of Senhora da Agonia knowing that agonia in classical Greek means fight, the fight that he brings inside him to calm those hearts of gold filigree, hanging on Ariadne's thread in gold, that help Diogo not to lose himself in the thimble of his creativity.

He goes to Mozambique, and it is in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean that he finds with what to wash the soul of the many souls that he creates. And they are hearts and flowers, and are what they are because the heart is also a flower in its patient beat and a flower is also a heart that blossoms, by making love to the sun and the dew every morning after a sleepless night of work, and with time, also with time, while he paints and chats, and puts into verse what rhymes within himself.

Today, yesterday or the future still to discover, but he knows and feels that somewhere there, diluted in lines, in colours, informs upon form, of a heart with two faces that open up as a flower and I don't know and neither does Diogo if what he thinks and paints is made of colours, or smells, or flavours or dreams, and dreams of sometimes without knowing if it is him who is painting the painting or whether it is the painting that is painting him.

Diogo uses paintbrushes made from tree branches he sees in his travels, branches from olive trees that calm him and immediately after lead him to a state of typical garishness with which he dresses as a lady from Minho or ties round a capulana.

And the several avatars that basically Diogo is making are the many colours of a division ad infinitum, on the road to nothing where everything fits because the two faces look at each other in a mirror that replicates them in his own face, his own smile, in his own gesture of training a horse, only because he speaks to it, caresses it and feels it, and is amazed at the nature he is part of in a permanent elenchus of colours that are also cries of ecstasy in a discovery in others of truths he is attempting to find.

And he is born and reborn in a permanent pursuit of colours and the loves he lives, travels through, in which he loses himself and recalls his childhood when at the age of 4 he offered his first picture to his grandfather.

Today Diogo is the father of many colours with which he seeks to follow time and himself, in the pursuit of the perfect colour, although he knows, as Pindaro has already said, he should not aspire to the absolute but only exhaust the borders of the possible.

And he always knows that the canvas ends in the space that continues in time, that it is life that imposes the faces, hearts and flowers, lines that are used to separate, and also to unite, and what he paints is something always in a state of power, in development, that projects him and takes him from one painting to another in a constant and restless ambivalence that splits him and deconstructs him and makes him embark on what he paints as if it were a boat or what he manages to achieve, the harmony of opposites. And as he is himself, it is his continuity.

Even though I have known Diogo since he was a child, it is difficult for me to define him, not only because to define him is to limit him but because growing is transgressing and even destructive and transgressing and demolishing the different types of forms in him is also moving away from himself to find himself again and once again losing himself in an everyday gesture, in an alternation of himself in what he paints and which is only what the Greeks called "amant alterna camenae" (alternate measures please the muses) but prevent me from creating a frame which does not fit into the colours that are diluted, which brighten and fade in a gesture creating a perpetuum mobile, where the colour is always the colour of all colours and not only white and where the gesture he paints is always a new form of getting out of himself in order to be increasingly more himself in his fusion and fission with the world. And as Socrates said "an unexamined life is not worth living".

The way Diogo paints and the way he lives what he paints is always him as a person on fire that lights other fires, that sets other fires on fire that within him exist outside him, that being him are the other, that being the mirror where one sees atoms and particles is also the mirror in which he is replicated ad infinitum through a time that not even Cronus can measure.

And everything in Diogo's hands, in those hands that think and feel, is transformed, mimicked and becomes something else but can always be called Art.

And he feels and fulfils what he feels and becomes and is becoming increasingly more himself being drawn by time, being, dismantling into colours, in lines, in expressions, in gold, in that gold that the Amerindians called "excrement of the sun".

And the expressions that Diogo paints do not have to be faces, hands or smiles, not even souls that pass over the empty canvases but that he grasps to call them oikos, love, tenderness, enchantment in what makes him dream and transcends him.

And it is by materialising the spirit that he succeeds in spiritualising matter, where he shakes off the obvious and is not concerned about putting it into perspective, on the contrary, because only in this way does he find a way to blend beauty with beauty.


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