Flavio Pons (1947): “I was born in southern Brazil. After graduating from the Art Academy in Rio de Janeiro I won the annual prize for young artists, quite unexpectedly. A sort of ‘Salon de Jeune’, granted by the Museum of Modern Art of Rio. That meant I could go on a ‘Grand Tour d’Europe’ for a year. Tickets, money, it was all inclusive. I went to Paris and ended my tour in London, where at that time a few friends from Brazil were staying.They went to Amsterdam and invited me to join them for a few days.”
“I booked a cheap hotel for only three days. I had thought the Netherlands would not be so interesting to me as an artist. I expected only tulips, clogs, and Van Gogh. But Amsterdam was, especially at that time, an avant-garde city, far more so than Paris and London were. Therefore I wanted to stay a little longer. Those few days became a week and then, after mediation by the hotel porter, I could stay, in a vacant room in a student flat temporarily. After a while, I was able to rent an apartment. Now I have lived and worked in this city for more than 40 years. And I have two passports.”
“The first time I showed my work in a gallery, the owner introduced me to a friend of his, artist and philosopher Fons Elders. That was a good introduction. Fons and his family more or less adopted me. Soon after that, I participated in Elders’ Landscape project in Zeevang with my assemblage art, collages, and contemporary sculptures. Later I did video performances, a kind of solo theater. It was la lot of hard work and in the end, it was too expensive. Now my specialty is micro-performances, a kind of visual poetry. It’s something I do without preparing for it. It all depends on the day and the place.
Flavio then and now
Flavio proudly shows his framed ‘diploma de Saúde’. It’s from 1948 and it says ‘Healthiest baby of the year’ of the city Dom Pedrito. The different pictures show that he, of course, has changed over the years. But on the other hand, he didn’t change that much.
“These are original navy overalls, a recent present. The scarf is by Versace.”
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