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rogerio duarte: tropicalia superstar

This amazing Brazilian has done it all – graphic design, poetry, music, philosophy, songwriting…and more! If something was shaking in 60’s Rio, Rogerio Duarte was part of it. Some say he WAS the creative/avant garde underground.

Duarte is best known for his cinema posters and record covers (think Gilberto Gil, Joao Gilberto, Jorge Ben, Gal Costa) and you can see some great examples on show at The Narrows, until November 14. However, he was also (with his pal Caetano Veloso) the brains behind the Tropicalia movement.

Tropicalia is also known as Tropicalismo, and exploded onto the world stage in the 60s. It reflects the irrepressible spirit of Brazillian people, art, and culture – and the anti-authoritarian vibe of the times. Think hippy counterculture/psychedelia, pop art, military dictatorship, American imperialism, Brazilian nationalism, hot sun, African rhythms and English rock ‘n’ roll all colliding into a huge sociopolitical movement that echoes to this day.

Although the social movement was crushed by the military junta in ’68 (who saw Tropicalia as a decadent, Western inspired threat to it’s right-wing ways), the musical impact continues to be felt. In fact, the focus on experimenting and genre-blending within Tropicalia has influenced a bunch of folks – including David Byrne and Beck. Remember a song called Tropicalia on Beck’s Mutations album? And yes, the album was named after Os Mutantes, another Tropicalia namecheck.

Anyhoo – enough with the history lesson. It’s a great show, go see it already!

ACMI is presenting screenings and music relating to this show, starting on October 24. If I wasn’t already overbooked this weekend, I’d say see you there!

Watch Beck’s Tropicalia here!

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About Vetti

I love good coffee, street art, tiki bars and kitsch. Adore roller derby and quiffs and vintage Hawaiian shirts. Enjoy a slice of my northside life!

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