The Boston art scene is set to be captivated by ‘Cerol’, an evocative solo exhibition by Raquel Fornasaro, a Brazilian-born artist based in Newton, MA. Fornasaro’s exhibition, displayed at the Beacon Gallery from June 2 to July 16, 2023, visually deconstructs the hidden costs, or externalities, of capitalism – shedding light on their profound impact on our climate and ecosystems.
Renowned MIT economist, Dr. Jonathan Gruber, describes an externality as an action by one party that influences another, yet the actor does not bear the associated consequences. Drawing inspiration from this concept, Fornasaro probes deep into the ethical ramifications of capitalist practices through her vivid and multifaceted art.
The exhibit’s title, ‘Cerol’, is borrowed from a perilous Brazilian kite-flying tradition in which competitors attempt to sever each other’s kite lines using a blend of glue and powdered glass. In Brazil, this is an illegal activity due to its potential to cause serious harm. Fornasaro channels this reckless spirit into her artwork, underscoring capitalism’s often ruthless pursuit of victory.
Born in São Paulo in 1981, Fornasaro’s artistic journey started with a BA in Advertising from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), before refining her skills in Washington DC at the Corcoran School of Art+Design’s Fine Arts program. Her previous works have graced galleries, universities, and prestigious institutions like MIT’s Media Lab and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Her advertising background shines through her representational paintings, a colourful fusion of symbolic richness and biting sarcasm. Fornasaro leverages cultural iconography from popular media, painting a picture of an impending societal collapse while retaining an undertone of wit and optimism.
Equally compelling are Fornasaro’s sculptural works, more subdued yet still poignant in their message. ‘Tether’, for instance, marries the natural and artificial in a startling representation of our addiction to single-use plastics: a log, resembling a torso, is tied to a sphere of accumulated household plastic, underlining the stark consumerist tendencies of our society.
Beacon Gallery owner and director, Christine O’Donnell, applauds Fornasaro’s ability to captivate and engage audiences. She says, “Through her unique blend of classical and surreal styles, Fornasaro articulates the universality of childhood and the complexities of globalization. Her work lends a refreshing Brazilian perspective to the Boston art scene.”
Fornasaro invites art enthusiasts to join her at the opening reception on Friday, June 2nd from 5 pm, and for a virtual discussion with art historian Dr. Claudia Avolese on Thursday, June 22nd at 6 pm. Both events are open for free.