Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC


Published before 2005

Hi you!!

I´m Marcelo, from Brasilia, Brazilian Capital. I´m 19 years old, and I´m studying 'Visual Arts' at the university of my state. Well, first of all, congrats for the site, and thank you, thank you really, for taking this initiative. This site is really important, and believe: you´re truly responsible for a breakdown in the course of art. In some 20 or 30 years, people will be able to understand your influence all over the world. It´s like Christ to the hopeless people of ancient times. It gives us strength to move on, and to keep with our principles.

I have always liked 'classical art', and I´ve been studying since 9 years old to try to became a 'real' artist. I had the great luck to win a scholarship to a highschool exchange program in Russia. I spent there about ten months, and I was allowed to attend the classes of the art university, art school and art college of my city, Kirov. There they still keep the École des Beaux-Arts system the way it was since 19th c. Wow, I grew so much there. It´s like, I have the talent, but there I saw the mastery they´ve achieved and then I truly understood the academic system, and how it provides us of the liberty that technical limitations forbidden us of having. Well, I grew a lot there, and if I had the opportunity to keep studying in Russia I was sure to be accepted and those amazing state colleges.

But I had to come back? In Brazil we don´t have a tradition on art studying. During Imperial days (the 19th c.) the academy was following the Parisian system but in a very limited way, because at that time it was too scandalous to expose big nudes and they were never bought. So, with the 20th century, this almost non-existing tradition just disappeared.

Worst here, at my university. Brasilia was built up from nothing in the 50s and inaugurated in 1960, so the university was open about the same time and the art course curriculum was all planned to mirror the great modernistic ideas of that period. So, you can imagine the disaster.

The problem is that the curriculum and the ideas are the same since those years!! So, You can imagine how shocked I was when entering the university. First of all, most of my classmates can draw a cube, and most of the professors had stupid specializations, like abstract art or stuff like that. The drawing classes are ridiculous. The professor is obsessed about nudes, so we almost didn´t have classes of drawing still-lifes and stuff like that. So, he puts the model and the poses are of just one minute, 'to catch the whole figure'? Like????????????? Then we almost just draw women. Maybe this absurd macho culture thinks it´s unacceptable for a man see another man nude, and to draw it. I complain all the time that the quality of these classes is zero, that we aren´t learning to draw from life, but they hate me for complaining, both the university staff and the other students, because they´re too worried about 'finding their styles'. PLEASE, lack of technique isn´t style, it´s just lack of technique. And I tell we can´t really draw in poses that don´t least more then 10 minutes, and I complain that the models r too lazy and just pose sitting or laying if the pose is of more then 5 minutes, and so on, and I hated for that.

At first I was really polite and tried not to complain so much. But I´m getting old and it´s gonna be harder to learn later!!! So, I´m desperate!!! I try to open everybody's eyes but how can I discuss with people who don´t know who is Rafael Sanzio, or David, or Bouguereau???

But ARC keeps me, and some friends, in the right way. The professor of drawing had to listen to some of my complaining, cause they were obvious. It isn´t going to change radically, but I´ll keep in the right pace. I have my knowledge of art history and great drawing skills to back me up at any discussion, that´s why the theoretical part of the ARC is very important, so, PLEASE, keep publishing articles, reviews and editorials. I´ve been changing a little bit some minds with stuff I´ve read here.

Really sorry for my English, and sorry for the person who had the courage to read this till the end. And I would like to ask you the publish something explain in detail the École des Beaux-Arts teaching system, from the beginning to the end, like describing the classes, and the day-life at the academy, so I´ll be able to explain it to my friends, cause here we haven´t got any material that could help us.