Preston Metcalf Introduction

To enter the studio of Silvia Poloto is a little bit like stepping into a maelstrom.  Not that her living/work space appears tornado-hit, far from it.  Silvia’s living space is an exhibition showcase, elegant and orderly, and her adjoining work studio is what you would expect from such a prolific artist (a visitor hardly knows which way to turn as there are so many works in progress competing for his or her attention).  No, it is not the physical presentation that causes one to feel as if they are caught up in a whirlwind … it is, rather, the passion and enthusiasm of the artist.  From the first work one sees, Silvia begins to share a barrage of ideas and messages that inform and are conveyed in her art.  It is an irresistible excitement of the mind that captures you and makes you realize you are in the presence of not only a dynamic individual, but a profoundly informed artist.

February 2012 more

Silvia Poloto: mad rose of the winds by Terri Cohn

May my story be beautiful and unwind like a long thread…,” she recites as she begins her story.  A story that stays inexhaustible within its own limits.

Trinh T. Minh-ha, Woman Native Other (Stills from I-C)

Memories of childhood reverberate throughout adult life, as we reminisce about the past in ongoing attempts to position our experiences in the present.  The fragmented landscapes of memory hold great potential for artists, as a means to unleash the feelings that shape and color their capacity for personal expression and self-invention.  Silvia Poloto’s recent series of mixed media works, rosa louca dos ventos (mad rose of the winds), metaphorically maps key experiences that have shaped her life and world view.  Symbolic and associative, her richly-hued, photo-based paintings epitomize the ways in which joy, pain, suffering, and compassion are personally encoded, and how her  personal stories also signify universal human narratives.

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Silvia Poloto Review by DeWitt Cheng 2012

Contemporary art, in all its bewildering variety, makes for a dazzling spectacle, but a confusing one. Since there are no prevailing styles, but rather a Babel of competing voices and visions underlain by various theoretical issues, the casual viewer gradually comes to the baleful conclusion that contemporary art is an insider’s game, and that all one can reasonably expect from the culture industry is mild entertainment. Cultural traditionalists have often made the case that modernist art no longer satisfies human emotional needs; if we are honest we must admit, despite fears of playing the curmudgeon, that there is some truth to this opinion. Art’s decline—from the personal religion that it was for early modernists, a substitute for traditional religion—to its current status—as hipster tchotchke and corporate-state status symbol—was already the target of critic Jacques Barzun in the 1950s. Great critics, he declared, produce work that is “autobiography enlarged; their opinions are not gathered but felt; the truth is not a work of ratiocination but a secretion from experience.” His statement apparently applies to artists as well, for in his essay, “Why Art Must Be Challenged,” he sounds the clarion: 

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Silvia Poloto Review by Michael Yochum 2011

Whenever I am looking for an art oasis here in San Francisco, I try to plan a visit to the live-work space of Silvia Poloto.  With Silvia, the line dividing her life from her art is definitely blurred.  She lives in a space where she is completely surrounded by her art – works both finished and in progress.  Her life permeates her art and it is, in turn, permeated by it.  She told me that she cannot imagine living in a space where she could not immediately access her paintings at any time.  It is not that she needs to be constantly working; but, ideas for work can come to her at any time and she loves being able to walk into her adjacent studio when that happens.

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Silvia Poloto Review by Richard Speer 2010

Vibratory permutations of color and balanced, intuitive compositions lend Silvia Poloto’s paintings a playful élan. The São Paolo-born, San Francisco-based artist was an engineer before she became an artist, and the attentiveness with which she arranges abstract forms betrays an engineer’s concern for structural integrity. In Observations in Green #4, for

June 2011 more

Silvia Poloto Text by Dewitt Cheng May 2008

Gallery 415 is pleased to present recent work by the Brazilian-born San Francisco painter, photographer, and mixed-media artist Silvia Poloto. A prolific artist who has shown in an impressive list of venues during her career, she will be showing not only the lyrical abstractions on canvas for which she is best known, but also a series of recent multimedia works on wood entitled Absence/Presence; these pieces combine painting with digital imagery, both found and manufactured, in order to reflect on the psychology of illness and mortality. While the new works take on the serious themes of classical art, they retain Poloto’s masterly command of color, gesture and texture; they are sumptuously beautiful improvisations that have come together from the disparate elements filling the artist’s studio through the agency of Poloto’s intuition — her perfect visual pitch.

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Silvia Poloto By Terri Cohn June 2008

One of Silvia Poloto’s great artistic strengths is her ability to create liaisons between her pleasure in paint and the desire to express deeply meaningful, personal content.  The mixed media paintings in her new series Absence/Presence are abstract expressions of emotional content rather than literal descriptions, associational, sensitively composed, and suggestive of memory.  They invite us in to wander, consider, and determine meaning for ourselves.

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Deborah Phillips (Unresolved) 2005

Deborah Phillips, a longtime editor and reviewer of the visual arts, is currently based in San Francisco. 

Brazilian-born Silvia Poloto is an accomplished artist working in a range of visual disciplines. Based in San Francisco, she is known for her lively abstract canvases and mixed-media sculptures. While the Bay Area is her current home, Poloto continues to exhibit widely in the U.S., Europe, Brazil and Middle East ( Dubai and Jordan). 

August 2011 more

Silvia Poloto: The Unresolved Series By Terri Cohn 2005

Although no one quite remembers who first said, “a picture is worth more than a thousand words,” its potential implications and meanings remain timeless. A painting is a window into another world. It is inherently a narrative medium that tells stories or compels us to construct them from the relationships created by its composed images, colors, lines, gestures and space. Over the past half-century, the anecdotal potential of painting has been expanded by its material juxtaposition with photographic images, which has encouraged both interchange and non-linear relationships between the two media.  

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Deborah Phillips (Pigs) 2005

Deborah Phillips, a longtime editor and reviewer of the visual arts, is currently based in San Francisco. 

Three little pink  pigs huddled in their sty are readied for market in Community. Poloto’s market metaphor illustrates the dichotomy between social interaction and rebellion. The clique of three in the pen may have banished their erstwhile brethren, leaving him to an enforced independence outside the box. Meanwhile, his compatriots find safety in numbers. The defiant loner must now face risks alone, while the complacent pen pals enjoy club privileges. Either way, it will end in a doomed trip to the abattoir.

August 2011 more

Artist Statement

Eight months ago I lost my mother. 

 Four years ago I lost my father.

Three years ago I lost my husband. 

One year ago I lost my best friend.

The ache, the sorrow, the grief, the tears . . .

During this period, my identity as a wife, daughter, mother, and friend shifted and transformed.  My identity as both woman and artist expanded.

February 2012 more

November 2013

OPEN STUDIO Hunters’ Point Shipyard

October 2013 more

September - November 2013

Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

October 2013 more

January and September 2013

Slate Gallery, Oakland, CA group show

September 2013 more

August 2013

Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UT  solo show

August 2013 more

February - July 2013

Stumbleupon Artist Series San Francisco, CA two-person show

July 2013 more

April - May 2013

SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery, San Francisco two-person show

May 2013 more

February 25th - May 2nd

Triton Museum Exhibition – Silvia Poloto – Rosa Louca dos Ventos
Opening Reception February 24th from 7:00 to 9:00pm

January 2012 more

March 17th - April 19th 2011

Qatar Visual Arts Center, Doha, Qatar
SFMOMA cafe museo – solo show March 17th – April 19th 2011

August 2011 more

February 11th - March 12th

Lecture and reception 11:30am, Wednesday, February 23rd
SFFC – Fine Arts Gallery
SpokaneFalls Community College

July 2011 more

EVENTS - 2012

February 25th - May 2nd

Triton Museum Exhibition – Silvia Poloto – Rosa Louca dos Ventos
Opening Reception February 24th from 7:00 to 9:00pm
Exhibition from February 25th to May 2nd, 2012
1505 Warburton Avenue Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 247-3754

May 25th to June 26th

Solo Exhibition at Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, UT

July 5 - 28, 2012

Solo Exhibition at Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

July 2012

Sin and Redemption – Group Exhibition at SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

Summer 2012

Group Exhibition at Soprafina Gallery, Boston, MA

March 7 - June 8, 2012

Group Exhibition, A New Leaf Gallery, Sonoma, CA

March - April 2013

Silvia Poloto and Gustavo Rivera at SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA

July - August 2012

Silvia Poloto and Michael Kessler at Artamo Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

EVENTS - 2011

March 17th - April 19th 2011

Qatar Visual Arts Center, Doha, Qatar
SFMOMA cafe museo – solo show

February 11th - March 12th

Lecture and reception 11:30am,
Wednesday, February 23rd
SFFC – Fine Arts Gallery
SpokaneFalls Community College

March 1st - 31st

Artist reception March 4th,
6 – 8 pm
Bryant St Gallery
532 Bryant Street
Palo Alto CA 94301

April 2nd - 3rd

Artist reception April 1st,
6 – 10 pm
SOMA Open Studios at ARC Gallery
Arc Studios & Gallery
1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

April 16th -17th

Mission Artists United – Open Studios
Poloto Studio
442 ShotwellSt
San Francisco Ca. 94110

April 20th - May 20th

Qatar Visual Art Center,
Qatar

May 4th - 29th

Opening reception May 5th
Artmo Gallery
11 West Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101

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