The Brazilian artist Paulo BRUSCKY (b.1949) has developed a unique, multidisciplinary practice in a career spanning over 40 years. Influenced by leaders of the avant-garde Marcel Duchamp and John Cage, Bruscky was a pioneer of Mail art in Brazil in the 1960s and was later associated with Fluxus in the 1970s. He held his first Mail art exhibition in 1976, which was shut down by the police.
Highly experimental, innovative and controversial, Bruscky’s work reflects a simultaneous engagement with the local artistic framework of his hometown of Recife and a global network, which he documents through performance, mail art, poetry, photography, collage and film. For years he worked at the Agamenon Magalhães Hospital, Recife where he utilized the basic resources available to him – printer paper, photocopiers, blueprint machines, envelopes and stamps – to continue making art whilst making a living.
Combining visual and literary language, Bruscky vocalizes a humorous, though critical commentary of local and international culture and politics; a response to a lifetime of political repression experienced through living under Brazil’s military dictatorship from 1964 – 1985, where he suffered imprisonment multiple times and was threatened to become ‘disappeared’.
Today, Bruscky remains one of the leaders of contemporary art in Brazil. He was featured four times in the São Paulo Biennal (1981, 1989, 2004 and 2010) and in the 10th Havana Biennial, Cuba (2009). His works are included in the collections of MoMA; Guggenheim Museum; Tate Gallery; Museu de Arte Moderna de Sao Paulo; and the Stedelijk Museum, amongst others.