Gray

Modalities of Memory

January 16 - February 5, 2021

Reception: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 6-8 PM

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Brazilian artist Gray Portela discovered the therapeutic effects of painting as a child. As an adult, he returned to painting as a way to process and cope with the pressure of practicing oncology in Brazil—a country where great socioeconomic disparity prevents many patients from getting the healthcare they need and limits the resources of the doctors trying to help them.

Working in oil, Portela’s paintings feature mostly blue figures centered on the background of an otherwise empty white canvas; he describes them as poems about his patients. Capturing moments that are both personal and universal, the unique qualities of each figure personify the patient’s individual experience, while their formal elements unify them, symbolizing the commonalities of human endurance—in Portela’s words, “life and death, pain and hope, victory, and defeat.” By giving form to his feelings, Portela centers himself as an artist and doctor, sharing with his viewers the challenge of fighting against a devastating disease and an inadequate healthcare system, and the emotional demands of providing care, hope, and understanding to his patients and their families.

View 's Past Exhibitions

Gray

Modalities of Memory

January 16 - February 5, 2021

Reception: Thursday, January 21, 2021, 6-8 PM

The Immortal Lovers
The Immortal Lovers

Oil on canvas
19.5" x 16"

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Brazilian artist Gray Portela discovered the therapeutic effects of painting as a child. As an adult, he returned to painting as a way to process and cope with the pressure of practicing oncology in Brazil—a country where great socioeconomic disparity prevents many patients from getting the healthcare they need and limits the resources of the doctors trying to help them.

Working in oil, Portela’s paintings feature mostly blue figures centered on the background of an otherwise empty white canvas; he describes them as poems about his patients. Capturing moments that are both personal and universal, the unique qualities of each figure personify the patient’s individual experience, while their formal elements unify them, symbolizing the commonalities of human endurance—in Portela’s words, “life and death, pain and hope, victory, and defeat.” By giving form to his feelings, Portela centers himself as an artist and doctor, sharing with his viewers the challenge of fighting against a devastating disease and an inadequate healthcare system, and the emotional demands of providing care, hope, and understanding to his patients and their families.

The Immortal Lovers
The Immortal Lovers
The Passenger
The Passenger
Fabiana
Fabiana
The Foot
The Foot
Self Portrait #1
Self Portrait #1
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View Gray's Past Exhibitions

Modalities of Memory | January 16 - February 5, 2021

The Infinity of Thoughts
50" x 50" - Acrylic on Canvas