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"I first met Victor Almeida at the Painting Studio of the Fine Arts Faculty of the University of Porto. It was the year of 1998 and, like all the important things in life, it was chance that led us to reflect upon the meaning of painting. Doing this, we talked about life and the way we look at the world. Sometimes there were long conversations in front of the almost empty surface of the canvas; sometimes we had brief encounters, which were no less rich in meaning. We began to construct a space of understanding and respect such that the enveloping silence of a pause resulted in an eloquence which came to be cultivated as a space for contemplation. The objects that were constructed were carefully planned from the structures that evoked, first, spaces of observation related to Euclidean Geometry and, then, to the rational tradition of Arnheim, in terms of the definition of visual perspective. Also, evoking the works of the 70's and 80's was legitimate. Afterwards, we developed a self-reflective writing: painting as a concept of discourse referring to its intrinsically essential ways and means. If we look at the instruments that the painter uses to evoke his/her thoughts - from the texture of the canvas, to the elements he uses for support, from the choice of the pigments, to the way they organize themselves in a methodic and reflective obedience to that net or web of articulated signs - we are led to discover, in silence, an almost monochromatic universe where white encompasses the purity of colors, giving new qualities of vibration to the space being gazed upon. As such, it is not cadmium-rose, cobalt-blue, or blue-marine that we see due to a lack of attention we established beforehand as starting points. We should see, instead, the process leading to the construction of the object of passion, of the secret developed in silence, of the discovery of an unrevealed mystery that, at the moment of exhibition, is shared. What we see are casually and occasionally flat places. Painting is an illusion. For that reason, it is so truthful. Nevertheless, there is a dimension in each surface or extension of spaces that is as real as a small movement of a hand or a signal for the movement of an arm that left an intention we proposed to know repeatedly visible. All that we do is try to interpret our dreams and our aspirations and, as a result, we always end up not being resigned to what we cannot understand. We cannot love what we do not know, as the poet Luis de Camões would say; therefore, the manipulation of information and the knowledge of painting as one of the most creative areas of contemporary cultural production becomes all the more demanding and important today. As we can see, on his very dear island of São Miguel, Victor Almeida has all the time in the world to meditate and construct reflectively a legitimate discourse, as truthful and serious as the feelings we have come to know since our first contact with his strong personality. As authentic as it is void of any ornamentation or drifting signs of stylistic decorations, Victor's painting is, therefore, a perfect place to evoke a time of gazing about that has become an interior construction, rigorous and uncertain about the destiny and effectiveness of writing. In truth, this is the destiny of painting. Emphasizing silence for its eloquence, the objects that we now contemplate are, in the true meaning of the term, spaces of geometry that are heirs to an ancestral imagination experienced daily in Western civilization, which is our history of a well-defined time and place, between continents and latitudes defined by Science, objects with a rare and truthful insight into the world. Porto, December 19, 2000 Francisco Laranjo Translated by Rosa Simas"

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