Wuelyton Ferreiro

Àwon Ìrun Ìmólè
This exhibition of Wuelyton Ferreiro's sculpture was shown at the New Blacks Contemporary Art Gallery (Galeria Pretos Novos de Arte Contemporânea) in July 2018.

Wuelyton Ferreiro is a ship maintenance mechanic, self-taught in sculpture. According to the artist, he was initiated into Candomblé more than 30 years ago, and his initial interest in metal creations emerged to address the shortage of forged instruments of the Orixás. The technical familiarity with metal aquired at the Navy Arsenal encouraged him to create his first small pieces, and the challenge to give form to the thought connected to the Orixás moved him to try out new ideas. His first major work was created in 1996, from the need for specific instruments for a religious ritual for his wife. Since then, without any formal blacksmithing instruction, his work has delveloped in such a form that his participation in exhibitions has become routine.

On the threshold between sacred art and contemporary art, the sculptor elaborates a repertoire with unusual solutions, though still working with the traditional knowledge of the African matrix religions which form a fundamental role in Afro-Brazilian identity. The possible readings of these metal sculptures are ample and enigmatic, someplace between ancestrality and afrofuturism, in which human figures of fine traits and smooth moviment resemble, at times, those encountered in the work of the Italian artist, Alberto Giacometti (1910-1966). Whereas the weapons and instruments devised by the artist are imposing as static objects, each with an exquisite realistic finish.

The concept of his work has a unique language whose fluidity immediately attracts the eye of the observer. To understand the work of Wuelyton Ferreiro in this exhibition, it is not necessary to be initiated into the African matrix religions or to have studied the theme, as the force encountered in it is, above all, a veneration to the Black culture that has stood bravely in resistence since the slaveholding colonial period.

Marco Antonio Teobaldo

(translated by Sadakne Baroudi)