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By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A collection of 28 paintings from plastics artist and poet opened last week in Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone), offering an exploration of the theme of the struggle for racial equality in Brazil. The works, from artist Cláudio Leal Cacau, will remain as a part of the exhibition until May 21st.

Artist Cláudio Leal Cacau, art, Museu da República, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Artist Cláudio Leal Cacau with his works, currently on exhibition in the Museu da República, internet photo recreation.

The exhibit entitled ‘Raízes do Imaginário’ displays oil-painted canvases predominantly in red, white and black, showing neo-expressionist images. Cacau’s idea with the works was to explore the theme of miscegenation and the struggle for racial equality and affirmation.

Cacau sees the exhibition as a visual accompaniment to a poem which he published on the topic last year, within his collection of poems ‘Insubordinação Mental’ (‘Mental Insubordination’). The poem ‘Raízes do imaginário do povo da Terra Brasilis’ (Imaginary roots of the people of Brazilian Land’) has 28 components, reflected in the exhibition’s 28 paintings.

Speaking to local media, the exhibition’s curator Tchello d’Barros said Cacau’s aesthetic “avoids the danger of falling into the mere clichés of the art of denunciation, but brings to light visual elements of blackness that poetically suggest a debate, encourage discussion, reflection”.

The exhibition formally opened in Catete’s Museu da República on April 18th, but was given a special inauguration on the evening of April 16th with a round table discussion between Cacau, researcher Francisco César Manhães, and literary critic Tanussi Cardoso.

Fans of the exhibition will be able to buy paper prints of the works as a souvenir, with the proceeds going towards the Grupo Cênico-musical Eco do Santa Marta, located in Santa Marta favela.

The exhibition is free to enter, and is open Tuesday to Friday from 10AM until 5PM in the Museu da República. It can also be visited on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11AM until 1PM.

What: ‘Raízes do Imaginário’
When: April 18th – May 21st, weekdays 10AM – 5PM and weekends 11AM – 1PM. Closed on Mondays.
Where: Museu da República, Rua do Catete, 153 – Catete
Entrance: FREE

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