As children we learn to make the simple structure of an airplane, a form as old as Chinese origami that predates practical flying machinery by thousands of years. It’s a shape that’s intrinsic to our understanding of buoyancy and gliding, and one of the most universal signifiers of childhood. Imagine you were to take an actual airplane, worn from its use, and crumple it up like a paper ball — toss it into a pile with dozens of others, while parts of metal wing, fuselage, and tank twist improbably upon one another.
Marcos Amaro is a Brazilian artist who was formerly the head of Óticas Carol, an enormously successful chain of eyewear retailers in South America. He is also the son of Rolim Amaro, a pilot who began working with TAM Airlines in the 1960’s, and eventually became the company’s controlling stockowner. Now, after a recent merger, LATAM is Brazil’s largest operating airline. Amaro’s relationship to airplanes is apparent in his large-scale assemblages; after selling his company in 2013, Amaro is now a full-time artist working with found materials and discarded parts. He has also experimented with charcoal works on paper, installation pieces, and oil paintings.
Amaro’s sculptures are simple and intuitively shaped, like the reification of a child’s daydream. Un-translated and raw, air craft components butt up against folded mattresses, as illuminated neon tubes spear the structures, twisting at uneven intervals. Industrial and rough edged, there is still something sentimental about the work — like a boy tinkering with his father’s model planes. Marcos Amaro is currently on view at SCOPE Basel, in his first solo booth with Andrea Rehder Arte Contemporânea.
All images courtesy by Marcos Amaro.