Serenata | Florian Raiss


In more than 40 years of work, Florian Raiss developed a unique style recognized in his drawings, paintings and sculptures; be they imaginary portraits, quadrupeds, mermaids, busts or mythical creatures of the most diverse forms. Although he claimed that much of his work was the product of fantasy and imagination, it was the elaboration of his experiences that seemed to motivate his remarkably lyrical production.

Many of the delicate and thriving drawings that the artist cultivated in his studio deal with the intimate relationship of their characters, whether in the subtle gesture of offering a flower or the profound sensuality of the touch. The polite man, libidinous or eager for caresses, can suggest the artist’s mirror covered in desires and fantasies that become in his drawings his only refuge or perhaps simple symbolic forms that repeat themselves and which he converts –in a hurry and extreme attachment to their contours– in art. "Forms have power," he said.

The ink drawings Ninfa#3 and Ninfa#4 show the power of the forms that Florian Raiss sought. Concentrating the female body significance only in its essential lines, Raiss exalts a less obvious but much more human sensuality. While referring to the artist's passion and refined musical knowledge, "Serenade" reminds us of the chimerical beings that inhabited many of Florian's artworks, gracing themselves with music, objects, glances or caresses. In the homonymous poem (Serenade) by Cecília Meirelles, she writes:

Allow me to close my eyes,
for it's so far and so late!
I thought it was merely delay,
and, singing, I began to wait for you.

Allow me now to mute:
to be content in being alone.
There is a sweet light in the silence,
and the pain is of divine origin.

Allow me to turn my face
towards a sky greater than this world,
and learn to be docile in dreams
as the stars in their wandering.

This was how the artist said goodbye in his last sculpture, "Breath in the Sea": with eyes closed, lightly looking for a place bigger than this world. “Serenade” reveals the sensitivity, sophistication and multiplicity of readings layers and fruitions that Florian's work provokes in each one.

Curated by | Paulo Kassab Jr.


Click on the image below to download the PDF.