The Triptych. Part One.
The Fly and the Man with Golden Possessions

Régis Gonçalves

10 – 21 June  2024

Art Space – Arti et Amicitiae

Rokin 112  - Amsterdam


This exhibition, entitled "The Triptych Part One, the Fly and the Man with Golden Possessions”, is an ongoing artistic research into the sexual life of Antonio Benjamim Gonçalves, born around 1858-60 somewhere in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Antonio Benjamim Gonçalves, black, of African descent, is said to have served as a "breeder". He performed this activity for about fifteen years until the end of slavery in Brazil in 1888. A male slave breeder was, for the landowner, like a gold mine. A large creature, beast like, with a precious cock; golden possessions; the perfect nourishment for the land. Here was a deprived black man, a creature possessed of a greedy object of lust, whose purposes were to nourish the dreams of the corrupt landowner: delivering an Eldorado!


In Part One, The Fly and the Man with Golden Possessions, the focus will be on showing the male breeder from his owner's point of view. In this case, he is reduced to a fetishized image of a faceless man, beast like, with golden balls and golden member, to be treated as a beast and mating like one. As for the fly, an insect that usually feeds on animal blood, here it represents the landowner who, with clear intent, drained the man with the golden possessions.


A male slave breeder had to have certain exceptional characteristics. It was desired that he should be tall, be physically well-built, with good teeth, possessed of thin shins and a large and long member. These qualities were believed to provide heathy and strong children; children that were meant to replace the elderly in the fields. A breeder would not do field work; instead his main job was to make sure that the majority of the enslaved females were pregnant.


Being an artist allows and obliges me to use my talent to expose issues that are relevant to our society. There are issues that may at first seem outdated as the events they refer to happened a long time ago. Yet even past events have strong influences on our daily lives and self-image. Here we explore the mistreatment of the African diaspora and the effects of slavery and colonialism reach broadly. Shedding light on the crimes may prevent them being committed afresh.

Slavery is a strong word and directly linked to colonialism. In our age the same kind of exploitation happens and we can find ourselves trying to give it another name. But at very end it is still slavery.

See also website of Arti.nl for Dutch text.

 The Fly and the Man with Golden Possessions

opening speech [in Dutch]

by Stefan van Raay


Anomalous. Different. Dubious. Flaky. Fishy. Strange. Uncanny. Weird. In short: Queer

The artworks on display in this exhibition are not self-portraits, nor portraits of those who deliberately have the tendency to dislike or censure queerness, but rather fictional portraits honouring those who have been often marginalized due to their queer appearance.

The distortions seen in the portraits ought to be perceived as a suggestion of a melted mask unable to discern between inner or outer.

Each portrait is a queer depiction of the human figure whose sources of inspiration were images from social media and other means of communication. Images that served me as a base to compose some anomalous, flaky, strange, weird, different, dubious, uncanny, and fishy portraits that display their queerness as a banner clear for all to see.

Abnormaal. Afwijkend. Dubieus. Getikt. Verdacht. Vreemd. Geheimzinnig. Zonderling. Kortom: Queer

De kunstwerken die in deze tentoonstelling worden getoond zijn zelfportretten, noch portretten van mensen die de neiging hebben om queerness af te keuren. Integendeel, de portretten zijn ode aan hen die gemarginaliseerd worden vanwege hun uiterlijk of persoonlijkheid.

De vervormingen in de portretten moeten worden opgevat als een masker dat begint te smelten waardoor niet langer onderscheid gemaakt kan worden tussen het innerlijk en uiterlijk.

What does Art and Food taste like?

Being an artist and a cook might at first seem a strange combination. But on reflection the fusion of roles makes sense. Working either in a studio or in a kitchen requires creativity, sustainability, sensibility, discipline and the skill of dealing with diversity. Colours are like cooking ingredients; so combining a palette of colours on an empty canvas is like blending an array of different ingredients in an empty bowl or pan. Each colour as well as each single ingredient has its own character, function, taste, smell, texture, etc. Since artworks and dishes are brought to life for others to enjoy, I feel that being a cook and an artist is caring for those we love. Therefore, either in the studio or in the kitchen, my aim as I create is to deliver a compelling work of art; catchy, surprising and appealing to our human faculties such as sight, smell, hearing, taste or touch; in such a way that we shall be both satisfied and eager for more.

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