sandra gamarra

Sandra Gamarra, Rojo Indio (2019)
Sandra Gamarra, Master Red (2019)

the 9 days on stage

Rojo Indio is a painting done on the sidewalk in front of the lot at 268 Consolação street, while Master Red is a series of wheat paste posters spread around the block. Gamarra has been investigating the color rojo indio, the name for a red hue made out of iron oxide, one that is charged with other meanings: “Indian,” which, due to a mistake by Christopher Columbus, became the term for referring to Native American peoples; and Rojo (red), with all the socio-political implications contained in that color: red-skinned Indians, the left, communism. The painting was done in the color rojo indio on the traditional São Paulo sidewalks, lined with Portuguese stones that represent the outline of the state’s shape. Difficulties in maintaining the sidewalks has led to parts of them being filled in by cement. Gamarra makes use of these cemented-in areas as a site for paintings that reconnect the outline of the state of São Paulo to other types of lines, such as traces of Indian populations that were decimated by São Paulo’s European settlers, or “bandeirantes,” which the state honors to this day. The abstraction of these lines also echoes the graffiti at the gate to the lot, unintelligible to people outside the universe of picho [style of graffiti], which marks territory in an uneven metropolis like São Paulo. The color’s name does not have a translation into Portuguese that would leave it thus open to interpretation. Sandra thus created Mestre Vermelho [Master Red], spreading advertisements for this fictional babalorixá, or spiritual guide, of the 3rd act: the verso, across the triangle block in the form of wheat paste posters. During the 9-day collective project, Mestre Vermelho could be reached by email at, opening doors, minds, and hearts, eliminating mental, bureaucratic, and material obstacles.

Installation: Antoine Henry-Jonquères