William Blake’s Visionary Art – Tate Britain

Sep 16 2019

Last week I visited the extensive exhibition of Blake’s works at Tate Britain and it was literally a journey from heaven to hell opening the doors of perception.

My relationship with Blake’s work is old and was created randomly and accidentally, as the best relationships are. I got to know his paintings and engravings, in the Sahaja Yoga classes, as a prime example of an artist who captured the dark intricacies of human nature.

Later I studied the graphic strength of his work at the University (UFRJ) in Rio. And today, at my wife’s insistence, I live in London and every day I am inspired by the same hazy aura that once inspired Blake.

Even surrounded by the fog and uncertainty, Blake is incisive. He has his convictions and he materializes them in his art. The painting of the devil and the Pope in hell (scene from Dante’s Divine Comedy) illustrates well the subversion and criticism against the religious society of his time.

And like his truth, the lines of his work are visible and prominent. Blake’s work is very graphic. He does not seem to be interested in classical and scientific realism; he prefers expression and visual surrealism to illustrate the inner truth. The clear lines in his work make me imagine how interesting it would be to see a graphic novel in his style.

And speaking of it, to my great surprise, when I bought the exhibition catalogue, the afterword had been written by Alan Morre, one of the biggest names in modern comics.

The afterword brings a detailed description of ghosts seen by Blake coming down the staircase and following Blake to the backyard of his house. I’d love to write a comic about it one day.

When I look at my work today I see that I am very influenced by Blake’s work. He created his own mythology to discuss the world in which he lived. In “New World,” I use the same concept to create a myth of origin for American societies. Magical and fantastic elements permeate the creation of a world born of the conflict of three worlds to discuss how we can better understand each other.

Although we do not have as many armed and violent conflicts as in the New World era or the American War of Independence in Blake’s time, peace still seems far from being achieved. Today I think our biggest battle is a mental one. As if the marriage of heaven and hell were performed in our minds.

In his paintings and prints, William Blake seems to show a path. A beam of light on a dark, faded path, which we can walk guided by visions without obvious meaning and by our imagination.

New World – announcement

Oct 27 2018

Hi guys, I’m excited to announce that my new graphic novel NEW WOLRD is set to be published by BOOM! Studios’s imprint, Archaia, 2019.

The discovery of the Americas forever changed the landscape of the world as cultures collided with violent consequences. But there’s another story you don’t know, one of a supernatural force that united a heroic trio in opposition – a Native Indian seeking revenge against those who invaded her land, an African musician fighting for freedom against those who enslaved him, and a Portuguese sailor in search of redemption. These three unlikely heroes, connected by fate, will work together to free the New World from the darkness of the old.

NEW WORLD is a timely story about the ways our differences unite us in our darkest hours, intertwining the cultures of Vignolli’s personal heritage to explore the European discovery of the Americas with a vibrant blend of fantasy and history.

“Writing NEW WORLD for me was like digging deep into the roots of my ancestry. I have a black mother originating from the slaves brought to Brazil by Portuguese sailors and a white father whose forefathers came from Portugal and Italy and, somewhere along the way some Native Indian folks in my family tree” said David Jesus Vignolli. “NEW WORLD is set in 16th century around the time America was discovered, and it tells the story of the encounter of those three continents: America, Africa and Europe, through the eyes of a young Native American girl. Although it’s a fantasy it’s based on real historical facts. In a way, NEW WORLD is the story of how I came into being.”

Read the full article here

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