Between the 70’s and 80’s in Lagos (Algarve), Joaquim Bravo (1935-1990) created “Marinas”, a series of colorful drawings depicting local beaches. Signed with the alter-ego BRANA, the works were meant to be sold to sightseeing tourists as a souvenir to take back home.
Bravo moved to Lagos in 1966 and went to work as a Caddie Master at Hotel do Golfe da Penina (one of the many jobs created by the recently inaugurated Five-Star Hotel, the first in the region). At the time, due to the state’s efforts to encourage tourism, a new image of the Algarve was established by promoting the paradise-like landscape as a place of tradition, authenticity, rich history and peace.
Departing from “Marinas” and guided by Bravo’s archive, “This is a Bar…” unfolds an artistic and social (rather than historical) outlook over the last fifty years of a lively artistic scene in the Algarve, filled with widely dispersed stories frequently originating from Bravo’s adventures and reciprocal exchange with (and long lasting influence in) other artists, coworkers, friends and acquaintances. It highlights the subtle relationships between art and tourism in Portugal through artworks and ephemera connected to the region (and often to Bravo), while equally tackling the undeniable impact of tourism in the Algarve since the 1960’s and the different and particular artistic strategies used by artists to profit from it in a regional context.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with a text by the curator and Mariana Tilly.