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Bieto - Documenting Movement

Words:

Edd Norval
November 22, 2021

The Swirls of São Paulo’s Bieto are reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh’s starry sky. It’s luscious and immersive sky showcases the concept of infinite cosmos, yet one eerily attached to everything underneath and within it. The kinetic depictions displayed in the works of the Brazilian, whose influences come from nature and science, provoke similar senses of wonder.

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Bieto considers himself an observer. By default of this, he is also a documenter. Although he may technically fit that term, there’s a lot of his work that doesn’t traditionally fit it either. When we think of somebody documenting - we think of a hard-hitting image. Maybe a photograph, or a visceral written piece about the horrors of war. 


Rarely do we think of art like this, at least in an artistic rather than scientific sense - art in the way that Bieto does. He documents the way nature, biology and the cosmological system appear and make him feel. His swooping and swirling images are both faithful to the subject matter and entirely abstracted. 


On his website, his inspiration is detailed as varying distinctly, from ‘the swing of a spoon in a coffee cup’ to ‘physical growth’ and ‘mathematical standards’. By mapping out movements, the Brazilian artist establishes certain recurring themes and frameworks that arise naturally and artificially - where art, science and nature all blend together and overlap in ways that flit between the standard and the mysterious.

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Working at this intersection between the cold precision of measured mathematics and the unknowns of nature is a fertile ground for artistic and scientific exploration, epitomised by the creative output of polymath Leonardo da Vinci. Proof that, centuries on, there's still room.


In turning our attention to these occurrences, nothing feels random anymore and nature starts to feel perfectly synchronised with a predestined plan. 


The golden ratio, or the Fibonacci sequence of numbers, seems to add wonder to the quantifiable and something measurable about art. Neither are as far apart as we’d imagine. Bieto’s art reminds us of this. Firmly situated between the two, the artist is able to expand the scope of his imagination by leaning on the qualities afforded by the limitations and possibilities of his subject.

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The artist thinks of his work as an expression of joy. Both joyous in creation as well as part of a joyous process. Because of the largely public nature of his work, there’s an element of the evangelical - that he is preaching to his audience about the sense of wonder his work explores, opening our eyes to let those feelings seep deep into us. 


Just like the cosmos of the infinite possibilities of the space above our heads, Bieto can provoke wonder by making us confront it in unexpected places. He wants his audience, in public art or private commissions, to feel enveloped. It is immersion by-proxy, kinetic movement that becomes a part of our world. 

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