Leitura: 3 min

Before and after Tunga

Before and after Tunga

It is impossible not to react to an artwork by Pernambuco-born artist Tunga.  This was my first thought as I entered the gallery named after the artist at Inhotim.  I am not sure if it is because of the smell of iron, which resembles blood, or for the metal that looks like hair or even for the beauty hidden in bones and the weft.  The fact is I can define my relationship with contemporary art in “before Tunga” and “after Tunga”.

The truth is it is not easy artwork. But, as for me, nothing that enchants and shocks can be obvious.  And when it comes to Tunga, not even a straw hat is ordinary.  It feels as if the artist constantly invited me to open up my mind, to look beyond what I saw, to be carried away by the dance of the several songs I heard.  For there I was able to see neither the beginning nor the end of the artwork.  What I did see was continuous, such as the cooper strands, the braided chair, the glass on the mirror.  The endless tunnel.

Parte interna da galeria, que leva até a obra "Ão" (1980)

Parte interna da galeria, que leva até a obra “Ão” (1980)

Everything there seemed beautiful to me, even that which disturbed me.  For, at the same time the magnet seemed to repel me, it also attracted me.  A sort of steel lightness. A beauty that included senses other than just vision, which awakened the curiosity to look behind the cloth and which surprised me every time I looked.

Because it is impossible not to react to Tunga, I asked some visitors about the feeling the work provoked in them.  Fear, ecstasy, doubt and admiration were the answers I got from perhaps slightly confused observers.  What has this experience awakened in me?  Tunga.


Testimony about the first time I entered Galeria Psicoativa Tunga.


Tunga was also the theme of Arte Brasileira TV program, aired on the GNT channel.  Watch the video here and find out what the critics, collectors and the artist himself think about his work.


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