São Paulo, December 2012.
Janete Costa, myself and popular art
We have always formed a love triangle. Janete and I met because in our lives there was this burning passion – the art of our people. She became aware of my collection and asked to get to know it in the 1990s. Her admiration became yet another source of encouragement for me. She knew all the artists, and our conversations flowed so well that we never separated again.
Many have been the exhibitions where she has been the curator. So many and so beautiful that whenever she requested some works from my collection I loaned them to her with pleasure and pride. One of Janete’s most significant characteristics was her generosity. She would tell everyone that my collection was the biggest and the best! With her, sculptures by Nuca, by Dona Izabel, by Ulisses, Artur Pereira, GTO, Chico Tabibuia, Nino and so many others happily travelled throughout Brazil and around the world. She showed our roots to Brazil and to the world. She also showed that the art of our people, of those who create based on the needs of the soul, without even looking at the criticism or even at the market, is unique for being authorial. Looking at several other countries, we can identify the ethnic origins in the works considered. This is why we stand out.
It was with great passion, competence and unusual taste that Janete was the first architect specialised in interior decoration to use it in houses, hotels and public places, something which had not been considered chic until then. Sculptures in wood and in earthenware placed side by side with the works of contemporary artists, most of which had not been known until then. She showed a generation of young artists from the Brazilian Northeast which would later gain recognition from art galleries and also win the tastes of architects from the South.
The initiative to create the Janete Costa Museum of Popular Art by the City Hall of Niterói, State of Rio de Janeiro, means a recognition of Janete’s work in all national instances. In this city, she constructed a company and worked, and part of her family lives there to this day. She came from Garanhuns, in the Brazilian State of Pernambuco, but wherever she goes she causes changes that changed the lives of many people for the better.
When Mario, her son and my friend, approached me to ask me to loan several works for the opening exhibition of this museum, both from my private collection and also from the Estação Gallery in São Paulo, created and managed by myself together with my son Roberto Eid Philipp, it was an event of great happiness! I relived exciting moments when Janete and I would talk about which artists and which works should be selected.
It was a present and also a great privilege to have coexisted with this great woman who left a trail of generosity, passion and wisdom of life wherever she went.
Congratulations to the city of Niterói which now, by means of the Janete Costa Museum of Popular Art, shall get to know and also recognise a bit better the art and culture of our very own people, the Brazilian people.