100 x 160 cm
“Through a range of subjects usually rooted in the history and tradition of art, Afonso Rocha’s practice both elates and questions painting as a dialogue and a legacy. Personal matters are an important source for visual concepts, but no more so than those from literature, iconography, social media, erotic representations, amongst others. In a process similar to that of a collage, the different layers of information, references and ideas are consecutively placed on top of one another, creating new compositions with ironic and ambiguous meanings.
Simultaneously, by mixing references from the history of art with pop culture, or other contemporary imagery, Afonso Rocha’s paintings evoke traces of classical and baroque genres, namely the Fête Galante, as a way of creating a semi-idealized reality which contrast with the crude relationships established between characters. By suggesting an over exaggerated sensuality, whilst picturing the grotesque of the male gaze, the paintings question the stereotypical roles of male and female figures, in their most intimate confrontations. The large size canvases help to emphasize the contrast between the intimacy, or triviality, of the subjects and the grandeur of historical painting it dialogues with.”