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Jacopo Crivelli Visconti
Her hair became leaves,her arms branches; her once swift feet were stuck in stiff roots, her face disappeared into the canopy: only her shining beauty remained. OVID, Metamorphoses, I, 550.
Jacopo Crivelli Visconti
Porto Alegre

As a child, Walmor Correa would spend his afternoons watching the animals in the woods in front of his house. In his imagination, the mole’s burrow and the bird’s nest joined together somewhere in the bowels of the earth or the heart of the tree, and the bird, going from one to the other, transformed itself into a mole so it could go out and walk around. Other hidden paths led to the sea, and the mole and the bird could choose to become a dolphin, a crab, or a seagull…

The animals that inhabit his patiently produced bestiary, on which the artist has been working for some years, are direct descendents of the mutations of that childhood daydream, but based on painstaking research and an almost scientific precision. Each of the animals Correa creates is in principle capable of existing. The artist shows us the mutation of each limb, each organ, each tiny bone or cartilage. The transformation is exhaustively studied before being brought to life on the canvas; before being poetic, it is scientific. Like the metamorphosis of Daphne into a laurel tree narrated by Ovid, no detail is neglected; the reassuringly meticulous description helps the reader accept the miracle as authentic.

The superimposition of science and art, especially involving the description of plants and animals, has a tradition in Brazil dating from the scientific expeditions organized by European powers to satisfy their own curiosity and thirst of knowledge ( and wealth). In them, the role of the artists wasn’t much different from that of the scientist: both had to observe study and reproduce. In many cases, the accuracy of the reproduction was tainted by tinges of fantasy. Apparently a part of this tradition, Walmor Correa actually brings in a fundamental reversal: instead of including fantastic details in a representation that is substantially close to reality, he invites us into an entirely imaginary world, whose sole commonality with our world is the inflexibility of anatomic rules.