Art We Love: A Paradoxical Church Window in the Desert

On Adriana Coppio's 'Memória do Vento' (2022).

Adriana Coppio, Memória do Vento (2022). Courtesy the artist and Projeto Vênus.

Lovefoxxx is a multidiscplinary artist best known as the lead vocalist of the Brazilian electropop group CSS / Cansei de Ser Sexy, which revolutionized the world of Indie pop in the early 2000s. After a decade of hiatus, the group has excitingly just announced a North American and European tour beginning May 3. Lovefoxxx is also a talented painter who has been developing her practice since 2013 and is represented as Luísa Matsushita with Galeria Luisa Strina in Sao Paulo, where she is based.

The artwork I’ve chosen is called “A Memory of the Wind” but it’s in Portuguese—Memória do Vento. It’s by a Brazilian artist, a painter called Adriana Coppio. I’ve seen her work here in Sao Paulo galleries for a few years now. She’s a great prolific painter.

It is a painting of a church in this really dry bush landscape, kind of like the bush in Australia, but it’s in Brazil because we have this kind of biome here too. There’s this neon yellow color coming from the windows and the doors, and it just doesn’t make any sense.

There’s this little simple blue sky behind it, which looks kind of naive. There’s this church, there’s lights coming out of it, but there’s nothing attaching it to the landscape that it is in. The way that it’s composed, it kind of looks like the photos from Marfa, Elmgreen & Dragset‘s Prada Marfa, like a shop window in the desert. It’s almost like a spaceship. It looks like something’s happening inside, but the light isn’t beaming, it doesn’t have a gradient. It’s just blocks of neon yellow, you cannot see what’s going on. You wonder, but the light pushes you out. 

Adriana Coppio, Angra. Courtesy the artist and Projeto Vênus.

Adriana Coppio, Angra. Courtesy the artist and Projeto Vênus.

I know more of this artist’s paintings. Her figurative work is really funny because it’s always inspired by family photos that are very normal but she paints them to look so freaky and horrible. I always felt like whoever was painting was being ironic and trying to paint monsters, but I’ve seen interviews and she’s like, “No, this is my family.” I just love this.  And then when you see her, there is no connection between how she presents herself and her figurative work, and then her landscapes are something else again. Does anything make sense with her?  She’s not trying to be quirky and weird. She’s just very weird and not trying to be, and I appreciate that a lot.

I love the way that with her gesture you can see speed in the way that she paints, which is very different from the way I paint.  And I love seeing other kinds of painting, because then I can have a sense of how I feel about my own work. 

But the thing about this church that brings me joy: I don’t know her connection with religion or churches, but for me, which I have none, it feels like she’s taking the piss. I’m projecting onto her painting, I can see how I deal with the church, and the painting kind of takes away how I feel about churches. 

Adriana Coppio, A Revelação (2022). Courtesy the artist and Projeto Vênus.

Adriana Coppio, A Revelação (2022). Courtesy the artist and Projeto Vênus.

I like looking at art and paintings with humor because humor is a way that I relate with many things. I prefer to relate with humor towards art, towards movies, and music. I think Nick Cave has a lot of humor. This kind of humor that comes out of honesty and vulnerability, and I feel that this painting has all of this. I don’t know if it’s paying respect to a church, but taking the religious aspect out of churches, it looks like a beautiful building. And that kind of melts my heart a little bit because even though I don’t like churches and religion, I know it means a lot to many people. I don’t know. Maybe it’s nice that they have a place to go. 

I researched more of her paintings because I’ve seen them many times here in Sao Paulo, and I realized that she has many buildings with this kind of light coming through from inside of them.  And she also has painted many churches, not just this one specifically. I like the enigma—why does she paint churches? I don’t know exactly, but I don’t need to know to appreciate this painting.  

I love being in front of her paintings, the presence of them. It’s easy because it’s very light. If this painting was in a friend’s house, it would be nice to be around it. I relate to art a lot like this, and when I create, I’m driven to the things that feel like a nice presence to be around rather than “Ah, I’m destroyed by being beside this painting. It’s tormenting me.” I don’t like that. I’m thinking of the long run, I like to visit these paintings at the museum for a few minutes, but I wouldn’t like to live with them. And this painting—I’m not religious—but I would live with it.

—Lovefoxxx, as told to Naomi Rea

Art is more than a thing to hang on your wall. More often, it’s a font for happiness and joy. In “Art We Love,” we ask charismatic individuals from the art world and beyond to tell us about a work of art that they love, one that uplifts or inspires them.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics