Carlos Marreiros

There is but one origin of the inspiration of Sebastião Resende: It is life.

Life that wrestles away from its source, towards the universe, and that man, little as he is, vulgarizes - pulvarizes into a mixture with the dust of the earth. Sebastião descends through the navelstring - as he is tortured in life's hell, to regain his source. Surely, there is a longing for paradise, a fixation with regard to primary geometrical forms, so perfect and eternal, in which he envisages forms of protohuman coexisting in perfect silence. In the large waters of silence, there lives and moves an ecology consisting a variety of elements. There is, in Sebastião's work one element that always reappears, the sea. There is always the sea. Threads of turquoise spin through adriatic azure. They were the gods of ancient mythology that lived in such transparency. Now the children of mermaids dive in the space in search for coasts of ivory.

Without title(serigraphy and partially coloured by hand:80×110 cms)
Space-time based on geometry (acrylic painting on canvos;130×390×20 cms)

How strange it is that bubbles appear as if air-bubbles causes thirst. The sea is in boiling unrest. The sea reaches for heaven and heaven descends into the sea. The waves seem a cloudy sky, filled with white shells of foam. Botticelli and Michelangelo were predecessors in superposing transparency.

Looking at Sebastião's work we feel a kind of dizziness, we are drawn to a far away distance, to a point close to heaven whereto we are turning - and penetrating through what seems a tunnel. We float in a kind of milky liquid, quasi stagnant. We are argonauts in a vacuum. There are gigantic protozoa moving in a time, crossing the stillness, silently.

The water is full of colour, music and warmth. Some bestial are forming monocular conglomerations, some are searching for a niche and others are trying to loosen themselves. Yin is reaching for Yang, whilst announcing a genetic dynasty.

Pulsating kidneys are there, thousands of them, tied to the uteri to guarantee supreme fecundity. There is no parasite around. Everything moves in silence. No hematozoon carries strange blood. Everything lives. It is the beginning.

Some marginal notes:

Sebastião's paintings are shaped by fluid, creating a vast space, a vast emptiness. It is strange that nothing eventful happens in this emptiness. The enormous emptiness of eloquent silence is crossed by microscopic elements, spherical and transparent. The mixture, marine elements, tubular and atomic structures, subtle genitals, aerodynamic, micrologic allusions are at times the themes based on myths and extreme-oriental philosophical fragments.

Without title (acrylic in canvas; 100×140 cms)Without title(acrylic in canvas; 70×100 cms)

It occurs sporadically that Sebastião's work resembles that of lves Tanguy, but this is a plain error. The microscopy is a mere pretext for a journey into cosmos, as the structures of the cosmos and the micro world are similar.

Translated by Nelly Visser


The painting of Sebastião is modelled by the fluids that create vast spaces and a great vacuum.

Curiously enough, this vacuum do not involve other events for it is the centre and the frame of events.

•The enormity of this emptiness in its sublime silence is traversed by the elements of micrological roundish and translucent inspirations. This mixture are elements of marine, tubular and atomic structures, the delicate genital organs, the aerodynamics, micrology and quite often themes on mythology and of far-eastern philosophical fragmentations.

•Sporadically the painting of Sebastião appears to be formally revisited by Yves Tanguy, but it is not true. The microscopy is only a pretex for a cosmic journey, because the structural system of cosmic and of microworld organizations is similar.


He is perseverant, analytical and nervous although he appears calm (a low tide type) like all other nervous European people with Eastern obsessions. The white foam of his inner waves does not break on the shore but rather it comes in the shape of a water-mirror, the soft and almost silent breeze of his mimicry.

He places his smile in life's daily showcase and in the circular lenses that frame his eyes.

He puts his good-humoured nature on the table, feeding himself and feeding other people's sense of humour. He gives the social gathering a push if he is interested in the conversation and ends every statement with a turtle-like smile. Every once in a while he nods in a Japanese fashion, contracting his nostrils whilst moving his eyebrows like a fire fan. His gaudy and curling moustache, the slightly asymmetrical goatee and the clearly shaped lower jaw strengthen the expression of his mouth and help make his direct speech easier to understand as he speaks very quietly. Although he is short, he is as strong as an oak tree. He wears highly fashionable clothes and hairstyles, sometimes favouring certain inoffensive and catchy folkloristic styles, like the Kagemuchi boots that divide the foot into two sections, the large toe separated from the other four toes.

At least in Macau, he shows an exemplary unpunctuality, though he always appears very well mannered and willing to offer his neck to the guillotine as a response to the protest for his delays.

A discerning speaker on the arts, he supports the trans-Avant-Garde theories that criticize the absolutist features that the vanguard claim by citing Archille B. Oliver. He favours the dismantling of the dialetic binomial of East and West, with their geometric confusion, contradiction and spiritual wealth that the temporary mental dichotomy tends to subtilize and complicate.

He always carries in his bag, which is trimmed with notions of the Rising Sun, two cylindrical small boxes, each containing a jugglery trick. He plays his part (always unchanged) with an amateurish insecurity. Before a not so convinced audience, he goes on saying that he did not get those magical boxes at some Nippon street stall, but at an eclectic sexshop somewhere in Ginza, as a pretext for the beginning of some kind of love affair.

Translated by José da Silva Vieira

start p. 77
end p.