Recently I was asked to visit Rio de Janeiro to contribute to a conference on ‘identifying the characteristics of art in our increasingly digital culture’. Other speakers came from Universities in Detroit, Buenos Aires and New York. The conference conveners had seen my book “The Fundamentals of Digital Art” and wanted my take on contemporary trends and opportunities for artists.
On leaving the airport at Sao Paolo we flew over mile after mile of Rio’s “favelas” or slum dwellings before reaching the centre of the city with its unmistakeable concentrations of urban high-rise blocks nestled within a dramatic coastal landscape of mountainous rock and hill
An underground train from the city centre took me straight to the world-famous Ipanema beach, which is magnificent. Having left a commercial city hub to be greeted by foaming breakers, golden/silver sand and the massive rock formations was an epic experience. The Ipanema elements combine to give you a sense of the unremitting power of the sea in a majestic setting. The district itself is also very attractive, full of leafy tree-lined streets, interesting shops, restaurants, and, beyond Ipanema and Copacaban lay the remnants of Rio’s earlier colonial history
During my stay I drew and painted the venue for the conference at the Praia Vermelha Palace, from the other side of the Avenida Pasteur, and made trips to the top of Corcovado (Christ Statue) and Urca (Sugar Loaf Mountain) to take in the panoramic views. On another day, I took the tiny yellow single carriage train up to Santa Teresa where I knew there were some older colonial period villas.
I loved the free open life that the locals seem to live there. Maybe there will be another conference waiting for me to visit on my return.
Richard Colson 07944284181
Sugar Loaf Mountain 36” x 48” Oil on Canvas Colonial House,
Santa Teresa, Rio 15” x 11.5” Water colour