To us, the most compelling part is Images of the Unconscious which showcases works by psychiatric patients. We are immediately drawn to a group of weirdly frightening and strangely beautiful engravings and pen-and-ink drawings depicting winged, feathered and scaled creatures, shamans and crowned goddesses, erotic beauty-and-beast scenes, Bosch-ian aspects of hell, Dali-esque apocalypses. Gargoyles and heraldic figures mix with lionesses. Snakes and fishtails intertwine. Chimeric monsters give birth to and devour themselves in a terrifying orgy of violence. Orifices morph into sexual organs, suggesting a physicality that is erotic and inviting but also shocking, threatening, repulsive. Scaly serpents grow wings and limbs. Priest-like figures stare vaguely into space. Medieval torture scenes create a terrifying tension. Battles of good versus evil alternate with strangely calm scenes of conquest and resolution. Embedded in this imagery are Masonic symbols, scientific drawings, sketches of imaginary planetary systems, mandalas, geometrical projections, United Nations symbols, encoded texts and formulas, and, perhaps, religious messages. Each work is claustrophobic and troubling where dense, tense spaces in black and white, cross-hatched, dotted, coiled, circled and otherwise patterned, become oppressive to any viewers, only to relieve them by the calm, white, uncovered areas in the rest of the frame.
The artist’s name is Darcilio Lima, 1944-1991. There is little background information on him. The works date mostly from the early 1970s.
“My work is the extension of a truth which, like a permanent stain, accompanies man through space at the dawn of a psychological age.” (Darcilio Lima)
PDF of Works