Art and craft: reading exercises in Hélio Melo's painting starts from some reading exercises about the work of the Acre painter, reflecting issues inherent to the particular work and in art in general, to enter a broader universe of transformations that shook the Acre scenario , in a period of intense transformations throughout the Western Amazon. Art is seen as an instrument of appropriation of a universe that changes at each historical moment, bringing at its center a complexity of enigmas and questions. The craft is seen as the greatest possibility of survival/resistance of a subject who works for can remain; both Hélio Melo in the work of canvases, and the rubber tapper in the occupation that takes him. The work of the self-taught painter, a former rubber tapper, is taken as a reference for understanding the broader context, following a path of reading that constantly brings us questions: but what is reading an image? Question that is answered throughout the text, in line with the unfolding of the chapters, which are divided and continued in order to guide us in this reading process. The unarmed description, method of reading, coined in this itinerary helps us to read, in an unpretentious way, what is in front of us, starting from the reading of the canvases, to then enter into other multiple issues that the lines and layers of paint bring to light. Starting from two canvases that refer to the rubber tapper's ways of life within the rubber plantation, during the period in question, it is possible to reflect on the insurgent transformations in the labor universe that is traditionally represented. Man no longer extracts latex, he walks, says goodbye, fishes, observes. We read and experience an act of contemplation that doesn't end up on the canvas, but maintains constant resonant echoes that unwind and remain at the same time.
Keywords: painting reading – unarmed description – Hélio Melo