Gamarra does not go astray because he is young, nor is he transformed by it. If he knew how to master, from very early on, the secrets of technique, one can attribute to the natural boldness of age a depth that is not common. And he can venture into paths that, usually, are considered reserved for more experienced maturity.
There it is his painting. Figurative without any doubt, he nevertheless refuses to be narrative and descriptive. Or rather: he only narrates or describes that which, at the very moment of figuration, is created by him. Thus these signs speak to us, added to an impossible encounter that would have enchanted Lautréamont and capable of a precious simulation of that form, dry and eloquent, left by the cultures that we like to dominate – for our security, shaken by the certainty of their complete disappearance – as “primitive”.
The illogical, more persuasive and necessary transformation of this narrative of the non-existent, ends up conjuring up all the myth, all the ultra-past magic in an unprecedented and most current mystery. It is, undoubtedly, a mystery born of ambiguity, as communicated to us by those forms that are leaves, tables, bugs, machines, but are really nothing of the sort. As they are of the present time and, simultaneously, the bitter taste of the native american culture lost for everything and forever reaches us in this Atlantic margin of America where it makes itself felt, inescapably, as an anguished and acting lagoon. However, since the unknown is neither copied nor the absence is reproduced, all this effort to reconstitute an indecipherable symbolism ends up building “another” truth. Which is a rediscovery of ourselves.
The rediscovery of man by man, in opposition to all conventions, below the artificial epidermis of integrations, beyond the poor rules of the everyday, as it is done in the depths of oneself, in the violence of the primal impulses, but also in the enchantment of the most complicatedly primitive dreams… what is that, if not the greatest miracle of art? Such is the well-fulfilled vocation, the well-accomplished profession, the well-lived existence of the young Gamarra.
Lourival Gomes Machado, July 1961, São Paulo, Brazil.
Translated into English