The pixel aesthetic of video games from the 80s and 90s has influenced many, especially those who grew up in the decades when they were first prevalent. Artists who fit that profile sometimes look to reference the graphics, colors, and soundtracks so they can incorporate them into their artwork. And that’s the case of visual artist Rogério Degaki, known for his pop sculptures that resemble cartoons from comics or TV.
The Cape (2012). Polystyrene, glass fiber, putty, and automotive paint – 89 × 80 × 44 cm – Photo by Maurício Froldi
For his new series, Degaki got the inspiration from platform games, a category that fits games like Sonic, Mario Bros, and MegaMan. His ten latest pieces will be on display at the Your princess is in another castle show this month at Ribeirao Preto in Sao Paulo. The show’s title invokes games set around a premise about a princess being kidnapped and imprisoned in a castle. This particular theme was chosen because the sculptor wanted to pay homage to the games that were so important to him as a kid.
As far as the assembly of the pieces, Degaki says that the idea came from aerial sculptures. “I thought about using the gallery’s space in a different way from how I did in my previous shows. The sculptures are not limited by the ground or the walls, but they actually take over the ‘air space’ of the exhibition setting, as if they were suspended platforms similar to those of MegaMan, Mario, and Samus, which you have to jump to and from to move forward in the game. The next step was to develop a simple narrative for the show with two different stages (or phases), using the gallery’s exhibition settings (there are two rooms separated by a large hallway). That division is stressed with a chromatic variation, that is, using sculptures and walls with warm colors in one room, and cold colors in the other, just as it happens in the games, where the main character is in a desert, and then goes to an ice field,” Degaki says.
Co-oP (2012). Polystyrene, glass fiber, putty, and automotive paint – 94 × 105 × 39 cm – Photo by Maurício Froldi
To produce the pieces, he started with manual drawings, considered structural issues that could appear during their creation, such as support, balance, and specific details. Since they’re handcrafted, each one takes about one month to be finished.
Your princess is in another castle
Marcelo Guarnieri Art Gallery
Rua Sao Jose, 1497 – Ribeirao Preto / Sao Paulo / Brazil
Phone Number: 55-16-3632-4046 / 3625-1216
August 17 to September 7
Photos by Maurício Froldi