Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1944, he has a diversified artistic background
which includes courses on dwaring and paiting at the Fine Arts National
School and at the workshop of the Museum of Modern Art, bothe in Rio,
during the Sixties. Later Duprat took drawing courses at Waseda University,
in Tokyo and, from 1974 to 77, achieved his master in fine arts with his
thesis in painting at the American University in Washington, D.C.
Takeshi Kanazawa, Art Critic
Marcos Duprat is a gifted man. He has one visage as an artist, and another as a diplomat. Regardless of the fact that neither of these are easy tasks, I would say he is an exceptional example of having pursued simultaneously and yet steadily two different lives. The secret of his development as a professional artist as well as a diplomat is that he managed to bridge two fundamentally different worlds: civilization and culture.
The pursuit of rationalization and evolution in a civilized society organized in different nations and the expression of emotion and individuality through art do not in any way appose or conflict with each other. On the contrary, it is possible that these two activities interact with each other to produce a substantial multiplied effect. A diplomat's work is to bring together people and countries in good will. Art is not general knowledge or the ability to promote good relations. Art is an intellectual and deliberate act of self-expression as well as a perception of one's own life and thoughts which takes material shape. More than the usual skills of a diplomat - related to civilization - Duprat, deeply involved in his inner search as an artist, has the keen knowledge and technique of expression which gives him access to another world, that of culture.
Let us now look at the works of Marcos Duprat. The underlying theme that permeates his work is light, time and space. These are eternal and universal themes for an artist. This is distinctly expressed in the series of paintings on the four seasons shown in this exhibition.
Living in Tokyo for two and a half years, the artist has been estimulated by the gentle light and the change of seasons in Japan. He frequently goes out sketching nature around the area of Shiroganedai where he lives. Duprat has a natural preference for glowing colors and fills the canvas with light almost to the point of its saturation, which may, at a first glance, lead to impressionism. However, when one observes carefully, in spite of the intense play of light and shadow, the material existence of the painting is ethereal, with an almost atmospheric quality, and the harmonious color scheme is evenly orchestrated. The artist has referred to Bonnard and Morandi among his main sources of inspiration. Indeed the technique of "valeur" - or "velatura", the superposition of several layers of paint - the use of light and shadow and the composition show the incfluence of these painters.
The world created by this artist is all an illusion of a subtle reality extended beyond a transparent film. Or is it more appropriate to call it a day dream? The artist has worked extensively with photography along his career. The work of cutting off and clipping images into frames is perceived also in his oil paintings. That can be seen as much in the still lives, influenced by Morandi, painted in divided frames, as well as in the trees in the garden, seen through the window frames. Photographs are also called pictures of light whose contents of expression vary with the strength of its radiance. The surface of the water or the shapes of fish in water drawn by the artist are as though light has penetrated the lens, as if light itself has been permanently set on the canvas.
Marcos Duprat also shows interest in architectural spaces. He has produced a considerable number of interior scenes, characterized by vertical lines, which accentuate the feeling of passages, spaces that extend from the foreground to the very depth. In spite of the geometric composition, there is nothing executed with rigidity and the lines are drawn with a free hand. Considering the artist is essentially a colorist, the paintings might tend to be intensely and heavily colored; but, in this case, they are strangely and mysteriously luminous. That happens because of the light, which comes in through open doors and windows as well as the expanding outside space, where the breeze blows.
The artist has mentioned that, since his arrival in Japan, he has been attracted to horizontal compositions, which developed as he became progressively involved with Japanese natural features. This may be related to the concept of Japanese nature and gardens. The works exhibited this time reveal contrasting concepts such as nature and artificiality, straight lines and curves, light and shadow, East and West, the unseen presence of someone and sense of solitude, which comprise the charm of his works.
Artists, in fact - more than "professionals", as mentioned previously - may be people with a fine sensitivity and a longing for solitude.