Opening today on Instagram and Facebook, online exhibition Quarantine Mind Stories highlights the works of Plastic artist and creative director André Gola with world-famous character Suadinho. Created during the quarantine period, the artworks can be seen as Stories of both social media channels. Online visitors will click on the filter button and use the camera on their smartphones or use their fingers to navigate. Exploring built-in tools of virtual and augmented reality, the exhibition intends to show art as an aid to overcome daily problems – clearly made worse by social isolation – and nurture good mental health.
All 11 works and the stories behind them, along with the artist's own history, can be found on his Instagram profile (@andregola). According to Gola, the exhibition is an invitation to the mind of Suadinho, his own character, so named because of his fast-paced, stressful daily routine but which took on a new meaning in Gola's life after he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. "It has been a tough year: we all had to face up to new challenges. I believe art can bind people together and encourage reflections that improve our mental health, an issue we have to be more and more responsive to," says Gola.
On the tech side, the online exhibition is proof that new experiences are made possible through the use of virtual and augmented reality tools, now readily available through filters. "Augmented reality and virtual reality have been an innovative, creative aid to daily living. Working with Gola and 20Dash has been truly amazing: we have developed a whole virtual reality solution using only the augmented reality tools available in your smartphone" says Daniel Bottas, creative director at Facebook.
The tech behind the project was developed by 20 DASH in partnership with Archimidia for the 3D work. "We always strive for innovation and for staying on the technological cutting edge. The opportunity to showcase Suadinho into a single digital exhibition is proof that there are new means yet to impact the world, art, and our communication with each other", says Denis Shirazi, officer at 20Dash.
The exhibition brought Gola a guest appearance on platform #ComVocê, a show on the Instagram page of Bradesco Seguros (@bradescoseguros). Now everyone is invited to pay a visit to Quarantine Mind Stories and walk into Suadinho's mind . Since April #ComVocê has gathered informative content and the presence of digital influencers and specialists in a variety of subjects.
Suadinho was created by Gola in 2013 and has since not only gone viral on the internet with over 1 billion views on Giphy but also featured in objects and panels painted across cities such as London, Miami, New York, Moscow, Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. Gola has also been executive creative director at AlmapBBDO for more than 10 years. His work has been recognized through campaigns of international repute, awarded in festivals such as Cannes Lions, among others.
The character came about as Gola, trained as an art director, was working on a few advertising sketches. Gola says that he felt he needed a simple outline that could elicit complex ideas, an image that made people reflect on the true message of art. "Now I can grasp with feeling just what Suadinho's role in the universe of mental health is. He's a character that reflects the life of those who are always on the run. He translates our own anxieties and struggles with life and death, phones, time, work. We are always overwhelmed by everything and it is really good to give these feelings some expression. My drawings became my way of talking about it, my way to convey these emotions. Art helps us work through our senses and feelings, and this is something reason alone sometimes cannot reach", concludes Gola.