Joao Carvalho - Video

João de Carvalho’s sculptures have unique characteristics. The singular plasticity of leather gives a strong organic component to his pieces. By coating the bodies with a second skin, his models acquire their own life and energy that goes far beyond the physical boundaries and actually gives them a soul. Carvalho is properly acquainted with the specificities of the skin and manages to obtain perfect modeling; where the result resembles a mold. Impressively, he gets a detailed involvement while sculpting the fingers and features. The wrinkles and ripples caused by the handling of leather instill movement and vitality. A set of opposing tensions, a constant push-and-pull movement that, as if by magic, create the high relief from where the bodies emerge, before only imprisoned in smooth skin. Therefore, oddly enough, his sculpture is the product of a bi-dimensional and tri-dimensional blend. A two-dimensional plan that works like a mantle, covering the entire model, revealing the most prominent areas. In this way, and with subtlety, Carvalho reveals or hides the body parts that he intends to display or disguise. His artworks are anatomy pieces, capable of revealing shapes according to their sensuality.

The compositions are quite impressive, with well-studied poses, projecting a Renaissance movement wrapped with immense sensuality. The panel is unified into a whole; the shape of the several figures continuously slides between them, in a hunting-like connection that emphasizes gesture and movement.

The skin reminds us of several substances: sometimes carrying traits of liquid that flows through the bodies, covering them sensually. Alternatively, it could be viewed as being as hard as a solid element, resistant to time and endowed with a peculiar texture, through which the soul finds its escape. Carvalho strips them of their clothing but puts on a skin, which, like a sensual garment, subtly unleashes a seductive nude.

By Pedro Boaventura • Excerpt from Masters of Contemporary Fine Art - Volume 3
João Carvalho was born in 1962 in Torres Novas, Portugal.  In his early years he began to have contact with two distinct and distant universes within his own family and today they reflect in his professional activities: from his mother’s side, he inherited his love for the artistic universe through his grandfather who dedicated himself to portrait painting; from his father’s side, he gained the knowledge and techniques of developing leather from both his father and his grandfather.

With these two worlds as a constant presence in his life - the artistic and the technical - he left for Germany in 1983 in order to further his technical knowledge.  He studied in the University of Applied Sciences of Reutlingen, in Baden-Württemberg, where he graduated as a leather technician.

Since then, João Carvalho has been dividing his time between work in both fields - technical and artistic.  In the former, he takes on the role of leather designer and consultant, offering his services as a personal technical consultant.  As an artist, João Carvalho creates amazing sculptures which capture unique moments and conserve them forever, using specialized techniques in conjunction with new processes which have already been patented.

His vast collection of sculptures, christened  NU ETERNO (ETERNAL NUDE), has been presented in numerous exhibitions in various countries.

• 2013 Artspace João Carvalho opening, with permanent exhibition of “Eternal Nude” – Gouxaria, Portugal

2012 Permanent exhibition in João Carvalhoworkspace – Gouxaria, Portugal

2011 Galleria Cavour – Bologna, Itália

2010 rojo@atspace – Milão, Itália

2009 Linea Pelle – Bologna, Itália

2008 Cine-Teatro São Pedro – Alcanena, Portugal

2008 Centro Náutico – Constância, Portugal

2007 Museu da História Natural – Lisboa, Portugal

2006 Europarque – Porto, Portugal

2006 Espaço Fatimae – Fátima, Portugal

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