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Calculated Imperfection: Bravata by Omar Lobato





Bravata by Omar Lobato is scheduled for release in collaboration with Atelier on December 4th, 2023, on fx(hash). The abstract generative artwork is part of the Atelier group show, Outliers. Adopting the subtle craft of calculated imperfection as an aesthetic approach, Bravata aims to demonstrate the capabilities of the very visual language it was built upon.


 

Narrating Abstraction


Originally coming to us from Latin, the word, bravata is from the Brazilian artist’s native language, Portuguese. Corresponding to the English term bravado, it can be defined as “an arrogant display of false bravery”. This is the core concept of this artwork, around which the semantic universe of Bravata was developed.


To break it down, I propose to focus on the artist’s aesthetic approach, then move on to consider the theme of false bravery, and conclude with an examination of the critical role of the figure of the tentacle.





The Art of Calculated Imperfection


When I first saw the Bravata outputs, an Italian concept came to mind, and I was reminded of the word of Roman origin sprezzatura. This term roughly translates as “the art of calculated imperfection.”


Its occurrence can be observed across a variety of different creative disciplines: a painting that looks unfinished, a disheveled hairstyle, a bowtie that’s slightly askew, etc. Sprezzatura implies a calculated carelessness, a sort of letting go, or a trust that there is a quality of innate beauty to be found in that which is unaffected. Bravata’s aesthetic compass generally points towards a celebration of fearlessness in the face of messiness. And this, of course, feels like a much sought after variation on the theme of the art of purposeful randomness. 





As the iterations typically depict non-repetitive, chaotic scenes, this style decision feels especially appropriate. It prepares an ideal medium for the generative artwork by weaving form and content together. The narrative being the temporary display of fake bravery, and language being the sprezzatura.


Besides the layer-based texture that replicates organic hand-drawn textures, an additional stylization is made apparent through color selections, showing a preference for lighter, more organic hues. This combination of these algorithmic choices provokes the look and feel of low saturation vintage posters.


The scribble-like textures, desaturated colors, and distributed messiness, contribute to creating an overall effect that doesn’t feel especially “generated”. There is something natural, aquatic, and even whimsical, that emerges from the Bravata outputs.



Capturing a Battle Scene


The generative results of Bravata fall into different categories of compositions. In my reading, they share common characteristics, all expressed, or captured, as scenes of momentary courage. This capture, which has been translated into an abstract language, is displayed through shapes, colors, and motion.


For an instant, the pseudo-bravery is at its peak, where everything is strong, enthusiastic, and flamboyant. Thanks to the compositional trait that we have characterized here as “distributed messiness”, the whole scene looks like a feast. Almost everything is dynamic and chaotic, while almost nothing is still and orderly.


Moreover, this frozen moment of peak adrenaline is reinforced by visually suggestive, prominent tentacle figures. The tentacles might also be reminiscent of explosions, which adds a final element of instability to the frame. As a result, despite being still compositions, they feel incredibly dynamic.





Reading Tentacles


It feels safe to assume that the artist took a non-arbitrary decision by choosing tentacles as the most apparent feature in this artwork. In the context of Bravata, it would appear that tentacles serve a unique function.

 

Despite being a biological organ, tentacles may be associated with unpredictable and automatic movement. There is an aspect to them in the collective unconscious that might be characterized as being unaware of boundaries.


One might add that the very form of the tentacles reveals this dangerous and instinctive nature, which makes them a perfect medium for an arrogant, expansionist, in your face kind of behavior.

 

The artist uses a ramification algorithm, allowing the tentacles to develop, bifurcate, and expand on a randomized basis. As a result of this distinct feature, in each iteration, a unique set of tentacles wraps itself around to form tree-like structures. Sometimes in bigger sizes, where you may observe their inner chaos in detail, and sometimes smaller sizes, where you start to see recurring patterns.

 

Here, in the pursuit of creating a language out of the purposefully random, Bravata stands as a manifestation of Omar Lobato’s skillful desire to transform abstract ideas into algorithmically reproducible compositions.


 

Release information:

Bravata on fx(hash) @Omar Lobato x Atelier

on 12/4/2023 at 9am PST


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