Hugo Silva is a virtuoso. His painting refers us to the classics in the minutia and resourcefulness of details, in the style and treatment of details. The way he develops his draperies, for example, evokes Phidias – the Greek, the extraordinary sculptor of Classical Greece which influenced so much the Medieval painters.
His realism, his hyperrealism, is not, however, bared of depth and drama, quite the opposite. His portraits capture emotions, freeze unrepeatable moments as at the same time deepening the plot surrounding the characters embodied in the wood. It is not, therefore, a matter of fixing moments of a mundane, banal and innocent daily life, but instead that of unveiling tensions, of exteriorize states of soul. Possessing an extraordinary technique and an irreprehensible rigor, Hugo Silva puts his know-how at the service of a narrative that questions us about the human condition. What is to be a human? What mysteries are hidden behind a creature that, as Heidegger said, „is born to death”?
In „Gestures”, Hugo approaches the universe of human expressions. From the ideas of Allan Pease’s book “Body Language – How to read others thoughts by their gestures”, his painting plunges into an investigation by the intricacies of the non-verbality and visual communication, „expressions and mannerisms as a manifestation of the thought, ideas and emotion. „His characters, which include friends and acquaintances, interpellate us, challenging us to unravel the secrets of the soul, as mentioned above, that hides behind his enigmatic gaze and of his mysterious gestures. But, in reality, these are expressions of everyday life, gestures that are also ours and which are part of a universal lexicon that, seemingly inaccessible, we all „read” in a communicational process of enormous subtlety and power. In „Intimacy”, the character looks at us from the front, confronts us and challenges us. The character does not seem to want to give truces and prevents us from turning the face until something really occurs, until from that confrontation, in a dialectic of glances, arise a smile or from the shyness of the body of the viewer, rise, reinvigorated, the will to reaffirm life.
In Hugo Silva’s painting, his characters seem to pretend to penetrate deeply into those with whom they will confront each other in the gallery space. Almost alive, the images on the plane of the pictorial panels, unsettle us, and therefore have the greatest of merits: to withdraw us from the inertia of daily life, to provoke a quake that leaves nothing untouched. The power of his painting it is, mainly, in the deep humanity of his characters.