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The Little Collector: when the artist and his inner child meet.

The Little Collector is a project conceived in 2018 that researches the creation of toys and playful objects made by artists. It involves the discovery of playing around the world, the way in which the encounter with the visual arts takes place.

Created and developed by Artur Lescher, Mariane Klettenhofer and Paula Azevedo, it maintains a website for the dissemination of its findings and has already held two exhibitions with this approach. The first exhibition took place in 2019 with the participation of twenty-one artists.

The second edition of the show takes place in October 2020 with thirteen works produced by fourteen artists. The two exhibitions took place at Carbono Galeria. We visited the current edition and shared the experience here.

Albano Afonso brings The Bird and the Moon, which refers to the shadow games, made with the hands, with the light coming from a lantern or a candle to project all kinds of creatures. Here, in rotating pieces, the shadow of a bird is projected to flirt with the moon, a game of subtle and cheerful delicacy.

Alexandre Mazza in Urucum presents a game of assembling in acrylic that allows the construction of a small forest and leads us to this counterpoint where nature cannot be reassembled and needs our most attentive look for its preservation.

André Komatsu presents with Agreement a game of assembling with cubes in different shades of white. Realize the differences between the pieces and reach a consensus to assemble the final composition, a challenge like many that we face in life.

Cadu in his Pop-Pop Boat takes us to the universe of fragile water toys, whether of paper or with a small steam engine like this. Floating on water, whether in a basin or in the bathroom sink, can be a trip to the imagination of Greek archetypal adventures, as the other name of this toy suggests: Po-ri-cli-me-Argonauta.

The sculptures in fabric Mandacaru, by Fernando and Humberto Campana, refer to plant animals, which can move and be what the child desires. The tactile appeal and the sophisticated simplicity of each piece refer to the duo’s complex work, while prioritizing their playful function.

The doll Resiste, by Lenora de Barros, brings beyond the word that names the artist’s iconic face, a resource used in many of her works. He places himself as a João Bobo, in a process that refers to his childhood and, at the same time, in the dynamics of movement he interacts and exchanges with the child the possibilities of an affective construction.

Marcius Galan adopts board games as the theme for his work and in The game of eternal return creates a dynamic movement of pieces that has no end. It is a game that moves almost in a loop, a process without end, which leads us to a reflection on time and what really matters.

Xiquinha by Marina Rheinghantz and Lucas Fazzio is perhaps the piece that best represents the proposal of the exhibition and the project. It is a pull toy, has wheels and a string, and it is difficult not to think of a child walking and dragging something behind him. The turtle shape resembles beach toys, buckets and the like. Finally, its hull opens and reveals a starry sky and a music box. It is a set of poetic and symbolic elements of childhood as a fundamental part to be taken care of in the human being.

Nazareno presents small puppets, different from each other, but all with their little arms ready to embrace their manipulator. Together, he proposes this encounter of affection for the puppet, another classic toy format, but also theater and representation of life through art.

Roberto Stelzer’s Alien Tower is both a puzzle and a board game, only in a vertical format. The intersection of formats, in a system that also resembles a sculpture, allows participants to experience the aesthetic in an extremely playful way.

Stela Barbieri’s Maquetry, with its box full of small objects that can be manipulated, fitted, modified and arranged on a base, resembles assembling games. However, here, worlds and universes will be created limited only by the child’s imagination and poetics. That is, they will have no limit.

The care of curators with the selection of works and artists should be highlighted, and how interesting it is to note the extreme coherence between artistic production and the pieces presented here. They all have a circulation, and we can recognize them as toys, but mainly we can see a transformative aesthetic experience that can be enjoyed with the family.


Images: Nilo de Almeida