Mario d’Souza


Michel Nuridsany

“I live in the baroque”.

When Mario d’Souza states this, everything is said, or almost. With this voluble and profuse artist, the essential and even what is less so tends towards exuberance, to a form of outpouring and fanning out. Of overriding. Of overflowing. Of setting out in search of what things become when you push them to go beyond themselves.

Here is an art, fed on admirations, on glorifications which not only tolerates combining, but favors it.

Born in Bangalore (India) in 1973, having lived in France for a decade or so, settling around the area of Menetou-Salon, in a house planted in the middle of a vineyard, Mario d’Souza was able to undertake within himself and for himself the necessary cross-fertilization and fusion of cultures and experiences with no obvious affinities in order to produce, over the past two or three years, a truly personal body of work in which thought, sensitivity, intuition, sensuality and even eroticism (admittedly underlying but present everywhere), blend into pleasure.

Into a sort of hymn to life.

“As the fruit melts itself into pleasure” once wrote Paul Valéry.

One could admittedly notice, here or there, traces in which it would be tempting to detect an “influence” (especially in the case of the work reproduced on the opposite page which definitely brings Beuys to mind), but — besides the fact that the little game that consists in identifying influences everywhere does not lead to much save for an opportunity for art historians or critics to put their cultural knowledge on display—if you take a closer look, you understand that with Beuys, the function of wax and felt is to cover, to protect, to seal, whereas with Mario d’Souza, the selected material—foam—induces an expansionist movement of overture.

If one wants proximities, the “science of augmentation,” dear to Jean-Luc Vilmouth, would be more adequate.

There exists, with Mario d’Souza, a buoyant and happy way of betting for life that belongs only to this radiant artist. His touching way of going toward people is in harmony with this positive art which, in most cases, stems from a used and found object, laden with a history that spills over into dream, meditation. From there on, a form of poetry develops as in an echo. So is it with “Comfort on all sides” (2011) which displays, resting on a banal office chair that withstands the shock as if there were nothing to it, a humungous (polyurethane) rock, similar to the Italian “peplums’” of the 1960s. Enchanting. Derisory. Improbable. Fascinating.

“On the way to the market” (2011), by operating a short-circuit between gigantic vegetables and the chair on which they are resting, obeys a similar logic.

Elsewhere, Mario d´Souza fills the ordinary “voids” of office chairs with foam, laden with air as everyone knows.

There is, with Mario d´Souza, a propensity towards wonder, to seeing and to showing the world while evading the obvious that leads us to look at it as if we were seeing it for the first time.

In the end, is this not what any high level artist strives for ?

Mario d'Souza | Les Faucards | 18510 Menetou-Salon

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