If it were not for the carnival and pop culture’s trend as the theme of the great city’s party in 2017, or there would be no correlation between Nuno Raminhos’s work (1971) and the theme of the museum in which this exhibition is presented.
However, in the contemporary artistic production field, relationships do not have to be obvious to exist.
Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Vale do Ave region has in the textile industry its oxygen and its development engine. It is its identity root. In perhaps hundreds of companies that have populated the territory over more than half a century, there are stories of entire families, of entire lives, of generations. It was not only in the last decade that the sector, one of the most contributors to the national GDP, went through crises, being forced to reorganize itself and to fight the social and human dramas that these reformulations forced. In spite of regrets, with the reinforcement of skills such as creativity and innovation – of which Art was always a precursor – the sector subsists and persists, maintaining the vitality of the region, remaining as its essence and not only as a far memory of the time that has passed.
The success, although not without difficulties, is due to a set of superheroes, true superheroes, that go from the workers to the businessmen, to the communities and cities in which they are inserted and that have been able to make the reading of the effort of each one to build a future that belongs to everyone.
Nuno Raminhos’ superheroes, whose costumes could have been imagined and made by any of these textile industry creative agents, are not real, but they have characteristics of the real beings of our daily life. The textile people lend daily inspiration to the pop fiction of our time. Nuno Raminhos, in his skilled drawing and flat color palette, adds to its superheroes connotation and iconography with political message, recovering the spirit of the Andy Warhol’s Pop Art (1928-1987) or Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008).
This exhibition is, therefore, a trip to the animated universe of pop culture, but also a proposal of reflection on the superheroes of our contemporary, devoid of praise to all anonymous who, every day, make the best and possible the our most basic consumption needs.
Helena Pereira | shairart’s Chief Curator