Olê ô picolê,
Santo Antônio de Jesus, Bahia, 1970; lives in Santo Antônio de Jesus
Olê ô picolê, 2007
popsicle wrappers, interfacing and metal
Marepes work reinvents universal themes and contemporary practices based on his own experiences with the day-to-day life and popular traditions of the Recôncavo Baiano, a region of Brazil with a history of colonial occupation, where he was born and lives. By appropriating everyday objects and elements, converting them into works of art in a gesture that recalls that of Marcel Duchamp, Marepe conceptually situates his work between the utilitarian and the poetic. The artist refers to his sculptures as nécessaire, highlighting the social origins of his materials and their importance to the economy of the household and a subsistence way of life in rural Brazil.
The utility associated to these materials and the symbology of the traditional world they are part of reinforce the power that the locale exercises on the multiple signs and manifestations of global culture. Olê ô Picolê [Hooray, look at the Popsicle, 2007] establishes a direct relation with the use of collage in 20th-century art, showing a dynamic visual composition made up of colorful popsicle wrappers attached directly to the canvas. The works title is inspired by the calls of the street vendors, revealing the artists positioning in relation to the value of informal jobs in Brazilian society.