Antonio Pessoa
  The Black and White album

The Black and White album,Antonio Pessoa,1997- 1998,is a must,a historical period in the artist's career and oeuvre,a unique series of charcoal and graphite on paper drawings and sketches,examining and exploring an impressive amount of subjects,from portraits to eroticism,from social caricature to neo surrealism pure automatism,from fantasy art to local cultural traditions,well,you name it. Antonio Pessoa between 1997 and 1998 accomplishes a gigantic something like one thousand drawings,indeed a huge collection,most importantly,a high quality collection,an absolute eclectic display of ideas,memories,visions and inventions,let alone the sharp technical skills the artist once and for all demonstrates leaving no doubts concerning both his talent and drawing technical level. Published in Spain in the year 1999,Pessoa's Black and White album,is a carefully chosen selection of three hundred drawings,by the time of its edition actually intriguing the conceptual and analytical view,senses and sensibility of art critics and public,for its unusual gripping,riveting and even provocative visual content let alone the daring sexual and erotic clear suggestions too far gone explicit in the whole collection. Despite the public embarrassment,Antonio Pessoa's Black and White album,quickly achieved a growing acceptance,enthusiasm,admiration and at last a global positive reputation as one of the most striking art performances of the late nineties in western Europe. In his uniqueness as always,Antonio Pessoa was proving to himself several theories at the same time,during the intensive days of the making of the Black and White album. One,his grand final like self-assurance he had enoughmastery and art action speed for live art performance.Two,the urgency to improve his capability to invent and creat without models,that sum of drawing expertise of a Salvador Dali,Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci,just to mention a few.And at last,very probably the basic instinct telling him it was about time to explore the freedom of a great adventure across the universe of pure automatism,his deepest unconscious aesthetics and inner complexity,a voluntary sleepwalking sketching performance odyssey. By the time of the making of the Black and White album ,Antonio Pessoa was living in Vigo,the lively charming city in northern Spain,where the artist indeed had the time of his life. Living and working in his gigantic home studio named Atlantis,Pessoa was back then feeling himself rather comfortable and happy with his daily routine and night life as well. Vigo,a five thousand population city on the spanish atlantic coast,provided the artist with a plenty of inspiration atmosphere,plus a stimulating social and artistic circle. Pessoa's Atlantis studio turned out to be his private wonderland,slightly Art Deco decorated,was indeed by then the perfect stage for such a stunning art action performance such as Pessoa's Romantic Period and this particular case related with the unique collection of drawings and sketches titled The Black and White album. After all these years the whole collection of three hundred drawings published in 1999 under the title The Black and White album,still remain in the artist's private collection. Why?That's quite a general mystery,although the main possible reasons point out to the endless display of artworks on canvas Antonio Pessoa accomplished between 1997 and 2002,The Romantic Period,systematically in circulation in the spanish art market providing the artist with more than enough income to live like a king and thereby enjoy life and studio work without the stress of finantial anxiety. The Romantic Period actually gave birth to something like four thousand oeuvres,namely oils on canvas,acrylics on canvas,mixed media on canvas,watercolors,mixed media on paper and as we know,something like two thousand sketches and drawings.Far out! The nineties and the first two years of the New Millennium are so far the most productive period of Pessoa's career. What has been the inner force and motivation making Pessoa get down to work in such a fierce labor activity manner,a pure and genuine art performance without competitive or selfish goals,is indeed a subject which requires a whole lot of examining research and definitely a great deal of time spending in so doing,just to try to figure out the true reasons,motivation and stimulus that made possible the proven accomplishment of one of the most astonishing art studio performances of the nineties in the western world.