I would prefer not to
And so, suddenly, there are three ways to look at these drawings and all things reveal its incompleteness. Initially, each seems to develop new episodes of the life philosophy of Herman Melville’s Bartelby, the scrivener. Bartelby was a hero by absence, refusing the do all the requested talks, repeating, like a magic formula: “I would prefer not to”. Bernardo Soares is not far from it.
Nevertheless, André Ruivo’s characters, with a self-destructive and deceptive sense of humour, are moving characters. So being, they are closer to the logic of urban dromology of Baudelaire’s flâneur. But they wander in an empty city, and not one full of people, a Sunday city and not an anonymous Boulevard or a Nevsky crowded street. In these drawings there is also a Pop drift: in the colours, the human bodies, the gesture’s theatricality, its props, the city’s buildings… everything indifferently perspectived, geometrized or planned, everything exclusively garish and musically rhythmic– memories of a certain and psychedelic submarine. Finally, in these drawings, it seems as if nothing is going on. Or almost nothing. Or nothing important. There is, after all, something. We can even tell very important things are going on.
— João Pinharanda