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Curated by: 
Anna Paola Baptista
ara do Céu Museum - Rio de Janeiro, RJ

09|15|17 - 01|29|18


Anna Paola Baptista


In the beginning, he was yet another character by Toz: King Insônia, a figure of the night born from the painter's concerns, who at that moment wandered with a restless heart through the urban nocturnal scene. From this ground zero, an entire people was generated, faceless creatures whose waking eyes obsessively took over the artist's universe.

Inspiration then becomes demanding to the point of demanding the embodiment of materiality itself. The characters leave the screens to gain the three-dimensionality of the bodies borrowed from the mannequins. And more: they receive a past with a story to be told, traditions, myths, rites. And even more: they receive a present time in which, starting from the people, individuals begin to delineate themselves, now possessing genealogy, occupation, social and family relationships. Soon, the Insônias also started to demand their own living space, occupying a house-museum.

The construction of this present manifests itself as a process of individualization comprehensive enough to assume even past memories. In this sense, what is most surprising are the interventions in the photographs, creating the Insônia family albums based on the appropriation of the body and the reminiscences of human beings. 

From origins placed in an imagined Africa, to family histories constructed on a cannibalized memory, the process of progressive densification of the object carried out by Toz is an itinerary of search for identity with scope from ethnography to the psyche.

Within the scope of the painter's work, one perceives in Povo Insônia a path different from that faced with the previous imaginary characters-friends. The artist who came from the street crossed over to the art gallery and from there to the museum, and together with Insônia, takes a route that proposes the discussion of a broader universe, based on issues of national identity.

And, just as African-rooted traditions populate the constitutive references of the People, so too do the iconic works of our art history evoke their presence, as when Insônia pose hieratically just like Di Cavalcanti's Guaratinguetá girls, Tarsila do Amaral or, more especially, as the  humble families of Guignard.

It is not fortuitous, therefore, that the house occupied by the Insônia People has been a museum, a place that, par excellence, celebrates the preservation of the art and culture of those who live in the community.

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