Alberto Beuttenmüller. Engenho e Arte em Luiz Hermano. Catálogo da 21ª. Bienal de São Paulo. versão para o inglês: Art & Craft in Luiz Hermano – 1991

The contraptions by Luiz Hermano are interesting material from which to consider the modern and post-modern artistic process. Nevertheless, they result from an individual artistic process, which began with the graphism in drawings, in which one could discern a special mythology, albeit moulded from Ancient Greece and its rival, Rome. Thus fauns and human gods were blended in stunning situations, hanging in gardens of a playful and primitive universe. Among these gods and founds, a number of strange beasts, spaceships, caravels, castles, lighthouses. From this 2-dimensional vision of a world recreated by Hermano, and wich the artist skilfully depicted in drawings and metal engravings, a change took place: the meeting with the third dimension. The figures of his intimate mythology now reach out towards full space and invade our conception of sculpture, of object, of toy, of industry, of handicraft and, possibly, make us consider a return to the purity of the objects, before they were reduced to “things” by pop art, as from the sixties.

His current work contains an implicit question: “Has Mankind gained in civilization after all this progress?” There is a sort of science less science fiction in his current work, intertwined with awareness. A technique without technology. A criticism of all concerns proposed – not only in current art – by an industrialized consumer society, but particularly: “Are we happy?”

For all this, Luiz Hermano attempts to include in his work a component, which is lacking in contemporary artists: play, a proposal of humor, of love, which seems to be dormant in the being of current Humanity. If the planet is doomed to death by the ambition of the powers that be, by the infallible bombs, by the chips of supercomputers, why not give a damn to it all and get down to play? His contraptions are an answer to Duchamp and his ready-mades: why not resume making things with our own hands? Industry makes them better, but machines cannot awake feelings, they transmit no energies, they do not communicate from heart to heart. Machines are nothing but action and color, but no sentiment. Luiz Hermano’s contraptions have only an emotional function, weaving love and absorbing the violent jolts we have suffered over many millennia. The contraptions do not pollute, they are silent as true art should be, without losing their playfulness or their humor. We should not forget that art in Greek was named “Techne”, unfortunately translated, in modern times, as technology and technocracy. Luiz Hermano is reclaiming its literal meaning, as craft and art.