“MAGIA PROTETORA” THE ART OF LUCIANA LUPE VASCONCELOS AND DARCILIO LIMA COMMISSIONER BY STEPHEN ROMANO…

Darcilio Lima Title unknown, 1972 lithograph. Collection of the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick, gift of the Stephen Romano Gallery.

“MAGIA PROTETORA” The art of Brazilian artists Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos (born in 1982) and Darcilio Lima (1944-1991) Organized by Etienne Romano Gallery for the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Cleveland OH. From July 1 to September 30, 2022. This will be the first major institutional exhibition in the United States for the two artists. The Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick in Cleveland Ohio and the Stephen Romano Gallery in Brooklyn New York are pleased to announce their latest collaboration in an ongoing series of exhibitions curated by Stephen Romano for this amazing venue. The exhibition features the art of Brazilian artists Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos (b. 1982) and the late Darcilio Lima (1944-1991), exhibiting together for the first time, titled “MAGIA PROTETORA” (protective magic) will open July 1, 2022, and continue until September 30. Brazil has a rich tradition of Afro-Brazilian religions, sometimes considered by non-practitioners to be a form of witchcraft or black magic, “and steeped in devil worship”. Most notably, “Macumba”, which is a term of Bantu origin, has been used to describe various African diaspora religions found in Brazil and elsewhere in South America. The Atlantic slave trade from the 16th to the 19th century displaced millions of Westerners and Central Africans to Brazil. There, traditional African religions continued to be practiced, often merging and then combining with indigenous and European influences. Among the Afro-Brazilian religious traditions that emerged were Candomblé, Umbanda and Quimbanda. In the 19th century, the term Macumba was used generically in reference to all these religions. In the late 20th century, the term was often reserved for religious traditions whose emphasis was on dealing with “low” spirits, sometimes called “exus” or demons. These practices differed from Candomblé and Umbanda, which emphasized interactions with “orixá” (spirits that play a key role in the Yoruba religion of West Africa). * Exhibition curator, art collector and private art dealer Stephane Romano said: “Luciana and Lima’s art embodies the generosity of spirit that the Buckland Museum perpetuates among its community of supporters and visitors. Art, though esoteric and occult in nature, bestows blessings, not curses. In the case of both artists, the works are meant to manifest magic itself, evoking a cloak that protects from malevolent forces not only around the creators themselves, but also from the keepers of the works of art who bless their homes with it. .“Romano continues:”It was by chance that I discovered the art of Darcilio Lima (or rather he discovered me) in an obscure auction in London ten years ago. I was moved by the profound and sublime quality of the art…I set out to acquire as many copies of this artist’s work as possible, it became an obsession, and since then we have been able to do get to know the artist, lend works to some major cultural institutions and exhibit the art in important art fairs and exhibitions. Darcilio is a spiritual brother to me, and I feel an equally strong connection to the artist Luciana Lupe Visconcelos, whom I believe to be an artist, in our time, of the magnitude of Marjorie Cameron and Rosaleen Norton, two major figures in the canon of esoteric art. To aspire to enter the parthenon of greatness, I look for these things in an artist… First, technical competence – for me, the artist must be able to perform their craft with integrity in order to have credibility with His public. Second, their art should be something visionary, and the viewer can come back to it throughout their lifelong interaction with the art and stay engaged. And finally, it is in the execution of the works, how skill and vision come together through the touch of the artist, and it is ultimately what will make them inspire the admiration of the viewer.

Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos “Anatomy of Madness” 2018

DARCILIO LIMA (1944 – 1991) Darcilio Lima was born in the small fishing village of Cascavel, in northern Brazil, and lived there most of his time in destitution. He was, however, praised for his artistic abilities and at the age of 10 he received an exhibition of his art at his school. He thus realizes very early that making art is his way of being socially valued and gives priority to it. At the age of 14, he left his rural life and moved to Rio de Janeiro, and quickly and frantically immersed himself in the underworld of drugs and sexuality, also absorbing whatever he could on art, religion, alchemy, science fiction and philosophy. Shortly after, he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted as an outpatient to a local mental institution. There he was discovered by the famous Brazilian artist Ivan Serpa, who took him in and mentored him in printmaking at his home and studio for the next few years. Lima began to receive accolades and awards in the Brazilian art world, participating in several prestigious exhibitions and receiving a travel grant to Europe where he met Salvador Dali and Jadorowski, among other notables, while he lived in a cemetery. Just at the height of his accomplishment, culminating with a solo exhibition and the publication of the book”diafragm“Darcilio Lima simply disappears. He was found a decade later by a reporter in his hometown, disheveled and gibberish-speaking, living off the generosity of the church in a dirt-floored back room. The church had convinced him that his works were profane, and he set out to destroy everything, which explains the rarity of his work today. At the relatively young age of 47, Darcilio Lima had an accident and died. His work fell into obscurity until recent years, when curators at major institutions such as the Met Museum in New York and the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid included his art in major exhibitions. Darcilio Lima’s first exhibition in America “Darcilio Lima MAGNUM OPUS” took place in 2014 at the Stephen Romano Gallery in New York, accompanied by a catalog with essay written by Barbara Saffarove of the prestigious ABCD collection in Paris. His works have been exhibited at art fairs such as The Outside Art Fair, The Metro Show, Pulse Art Fair and Scope Art Fair in New York. “Darcilio Lima had strong ties to the Brazilian avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly Ivan Serpa, who mentored the young artist between 1967 and 1969. Lima’s figurative and densely symbolic work takes a very different direction from that many other Brazilian artists of the time. , who embraced geometric abstraction. This work gives shape to a fabulous hallucinatory universe presided over by a bestiary of hybrids and mutants. In Lima’s work, the polymorphism of gender and sexuality reigns, while opposites of all kinds – human and creature, pleasure and violence, power and submission – merge.– Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos “The Awakening of the Will” 2018 Collection of Boris Martinov, New York

Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos (born 1982)”Vasconcelos is not just a powerful witch of art. It was a sociologist who diagnosed an imbalance of energies polluting our celestial plane. She is also a healer who prescribed the appropriate remedy – a concoction of feminine and masculine energies to enrich our stagnant cosmos. And Vasconcelos is also a communicator, with the skills often given to activists, politicians, teachers and very good friends. She communicates through the universal language of imagery, the only language powerful enough to reach the whole world and heal a bloody psychic wound.– Canvas and Crumpets “Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos: Restoring Cosmic Balance Through Magic(k)” Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos is a contemporary Brazilian artist residing in the mountain town of Teresopolis, Brazil. His art explores realms of the mythical, mystical and occult through the use of traditional techniques, with a particular focus on exploring automatism in water-based media. Her very distinctive style alludes to the influences of symbolism and surrealism and continues the tradition of female artists working with the subjects of magic and the occult. She has illustrated numerous books in English and Portuguese, including a Brazilian edition of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. Her work has been exhibited around the world and has been featured in online and print media. The Stephen Romano Gallery has presented his art in numerous group exhibitions including “NO STARS – A TWIN PEAKS tribute exhibition in 2019 in New York, “”APPARITIONS” specters, conjures and the paranormal..” at the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft in 2021 and the artist was spotlighted in a major feature on MONSTERBRAINS.com while Stephen Romano was Curator-in-Residence. The artist was also included in the groundbreaking exhibition in New York “The Living Gallery” entitled “GENUS SORORUM”, an exhibition of images and works by living women artists that deal with themes of witchcraft, magic and esotericism. Luciana cites as influences, Austin Austin Osman Spare and Marjorie Cameron, Alister Crowley, Dion Fortune, Kenneth Grant, Peter Gray, Alejandro Jodorowsky, William Blake, WB Yeats, Remedios Varo. Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini’. One of her biggest influences is Darcilio Lima, of whom she says:The enigma of Darcílio Lima came into my life only a few years after I moved to the same city where he lived 31 years before. His name had just been recalled to the public on the occasion of the first exhibition of his work since his untimely death in 1991, which I only missed by a few months. One of the many articles about the exhibition reached me and that was it; I got hopelessly entangled in the mysterious threads of Lima. As an artist who favors the line, I found in Darcílio Lima the master I never had.Luciana continues:It was a very powerful convergence at the time, and that contact energized my own work immensely. I consider Darcílio Lima as an ancestor, someone who preceded me and whose lineage I belong to. In a way, my work is a continuation of his.Exhibition curator Stephen Romano concludes:The art of Luciana and Lima manifests this admiration and by sharing this art with the world in this historic exhibition, we hope to open a portal that will affirm the healing power of art, especially in these always confusing times.

For more information or visuals please contact Stephen Romano at [email protected] 646 709 4725

Christopher S. Washington