Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Art of Eliseu Gouveia: Visual Spectacle and Treatment of Subject Matter yield Glorious Art!

I've never been to Portugal. I don't speak Portuguese. And I probably can't even pronounce his name correctly.

But...Count me among the fans of artist Eliseu Gouveia.

My introduction to the artwork of Eliseu was a discussion thread over on the Digital Webbing forum, a place that I spend much time, of late. Specifically, it was this thread, for those who care to look.

Eliseu Gouveia has done me the honor of reintroducing me to the character, Wonder Woman - and he's done a damned fine job of it!

However, I am torn in different directions, torn by what I like the most about his approach to this iconic character from DC Comics. Is it his art that I like the best? Is it the underlying premise behind it, one based upon his own reinterpretation of the Wonder Woman mythos? Is it the research that he put into this project that really makes it stand out in my eyes? Or is it some combination of the same?

What am I missing?! Have I failed to point out - to highlight - some missing ingredient that would account for the appeal of Eliseu's take on Wonder Woman in his undertaking titled, "WONDER WOMAN - In The Name Of The Mother?"

If I had to sum it up in a nutshell, then what does it for me is that Eliseu Gouveia has risen to the proverbial occasion, and is in the ongoing process of delivering to the world a serious treatment of this super heroine.

Originally envisioned as a ten page undertaking, Eliseu's work of collective art on this particular subject matter has evolved well beyond that initial goal. Eliseu Gouveia, it seems, comprehends that, at times, it is best to just let things evolve naturally, rather than set arbitrary limits out of thin air, thereby stunting the character''s growth or shortchanging the story, itself, that is being told. This approach denotes maturity in comprehension of both characters and story-telling in the comic book format.

"WONDER WOMAN - In The Name Of The Mother" is a nice example, I think, of the whole being greater than the sum of its individual parts.

To really gain an appreciation for the strength of Eliseu's take on this character, the Digital Webbing discussion thread noted above can only be properly considered to be a starting point. It is within his commentaries on the character this this project that are scattered throughout his deviantArt gallery, profile, and concept portion of his Wonder Woman re-imagined section that really flesh out the substance of Eliseu's vision for this character that is Wonder Woman.

I won't say that all of the individual panels of artwork encompassed within this body of work achieved, to date, evoke equal enthusiasm from me. That said, the quality of the artwork embodied within this project, thus far, is significantly positive. Some of it, I adore. Notably, none of it is bad, much less terrible. In all regards, quality is present in abundance. It's biggest shortcoming, so far, is probably in the area of special effects lettering. There simply isn't much of that showcased in this project, to its current point.

In my considered opinion, while Eliseu Gouveia has invested a lot of detail into the underlying premise of what is being presented on the page, I cannot but help to think that, the truth be known, he has only really begun to just scratch the surface of what is possible with him at the helm of such a project.

One thing that I will say for Eliseu Gouveia is that, where his art is concerned, he definitely reveals an appreciation for how to approach the female form in the comic book format. A trip over to his Facebook page taught me that, if nothing else.

If I had to sum up both the artist and his art in a couple of words, what I would choose to go with would be "class act." He seems to instinctively know how to portray women as both feminine in nature and as individual characters of strength, simultaneously.

Eliseu captures the beauty of women, but not just the surface beauty. He captures their inner beauty, as well, and he presents this, amongst other things, to us, the readers and viewers, on the canvas of the pages that he offers up to us on the altar of public consumption.

Here is an artist well-versed in the art of visual spectacle. Whether he realizes that or not, I don't know. Whether he fully and intimately appreciates the value of this particular artistic gift, I honestly can't say. Perhaps, much like this particular project, his appreciation of his own artistic gifts, to include this specific one but not limited thereto, might well still be evolving.

I hope so, anyway. Because, if it is, then my mind gapes in awe of what may lie ahead.

Eliseu Gouveia, from afar, I salute you! Much is there about your artwork that is worthy of admiration.

I wish you only the best, as you pursue both this Wonder Woman project, specifically, and your artwork as a profession, generally.

I can only hope that you do not stop with just Wonder Woman under your belt, for what you bring to your profession that is art is the concept of treatment in action.

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