Communication with the purpose of culturally promoting artists included in the Fundación María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Collection, works protected by intellectual property rights. Their total or partial reproduction or processing by any means, or their transmission or cession in any form is forbidden without the authorisation of the holder of the rights to the works
Author: José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, 1960)
Title: Oca 3
Technique: photograph on Fuji Cristal Archiv
Size: 114 x 300 cm
Edition: 1 de 5
This photograph, acquired by the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation at Madrid’s 2010 International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO), belongs to a series of the first works that José Manuel Ballester produced from the work of the well-known Brazilian architect Óscar Niemeyer, on whom he has continued to do research and carry out regular projects over the past seven years. It is a detail captured in Ballester’s first trips to Sâo Paulo, an image taken in the Lucas Nogueira Garcez pavilion (popularly known as Oca) at Ibirapuera Park, where the city’s Aeronautics Museum and Folklore Museum were located before it was turned into an exhibition centre.
The photograph translates this perfect synthesis of Niemeyer’s functionalism and organicism filtered by the view of the Madrid artist, who has managed to extract the particular poetry of the light and space of those seemingly hidden scenes. Although Ballester is not, strictly speaking, an artist of “architectures”, most of his works analyse rooms, façades, passages, transit areas, details (doors, windows, stairs) structural elements (beams, columns) that are generally present in their construction phase. The artist pursues human presences that have already gone, or have not yet arrived, patterns that await, sources of life or, perhaps, resting places. Architecture or the city as spaces that the gods granted to man for its shelter and protection; buildings like primitive caves, cradle and final resting place, to reveal the conditions of life or the dream of being shadows in multiple labyrinths of rooms.