I met Andrea Brandani on the sidewalk in Ipanema, carving Jesus out of a near extinct pine that had fallen in the lingerie capital of Latin America three hours north of Rio.
Jesus in Brandani’s Ipanema atelier.
Brandani carves in trees, paints in oil and sprays murals across Rio de Janeiro. Before he heads to Munich on a commissioned project to spray the city in tropical murals, he put Jesus on exhibit in Rio, just in time for Easter.
The artist on the cross. Brandani tells O Globo:
Some people would call this sacrilege, but it’s an homage to Christ to put yourself in the same position as him, not to mention that during that whole era people were crucified, not just Christ.
Jesus took three days to die and resurrect, but Catholics mark the journey over fifteen stages of the Way of the Cross, A Via Sacra in Portuguese.
Jesus is condemned. Jesus carries the cross. Jesus falls for the first time. Jesus meets his mother.
Jesus falls a second time.
Brandani shared the space with Valmon, a composer, singer and artist who decided to do a Via Sacra entirely of found objects and trash.
The third stage: Jesus falls for the first time.
“His prostrate body is the color of earth. He remembers that men are dust and to dust we will return.”
The fourth stage: Jesus meets his mother.
“Blue is the color of the Immaculate Virgin, the color of the clean sky and infinite sea.”
The eleventh stage: Jesus is crucified.
“Jesus is crucified at noon and the world falls into darkness. Black is the color of war and sadness inside of us, the color of night, the absence of color. The world is darkness. We turn away from His light and suffer in darkness.”
The fifteenth stage: Jesus resurrected.
A rainbow announces a new alliance between God and man, satisfies all our anxieties, remembers every dimension of our lives. We paint our lives with the colors of the resurrection of Jesus.”
More Resurrection Art:
A Via Sacra is on now on exhibit at CEPERJ, across the street from Rio Sul in Leme.