The Evolution of Armor

Johanna Invrea is on another level. Her very own level. She creates amazing sculptural art from a variety of inspirations deep within her. Last year we covered her original installment of The Armor which included an amazing ceramic, copper glaze mobile attack and defense suit, inspired from the throws of the Amazon and Viking age.

This year she surprised the public with The Armor (2023), unveiled in São Paulo at the Exhibition Em deslocamento, as part of her FAAP Residência. Displayed by multi-disciplined artist Enco, The Armor 2023 is something you just have to see to really witness its power.

We caught up with Johanna to delve into her very personal ceramic/porcelain/latex/magnets/horsehair expression, and to shine a light on her collaborators as well.

S3R News: This is the return of the armor (2023), can u tell us a bit about your inspiration this time around?

Johanna Ivrea: This work came out of a period in Brazil where I was a guest of the FAAP residency. The inspiration is the same of the first Armor: the glorious bodies of Amazons and Vikings women, their strength and courage.

Using clays different from the ones I usually use and fully experiencing the city of São Paulo, I was certainly greatly influenced by the context in which I found myself.

I discovered latex, which the artists I met whom introduced me to. I’m talking about Enco, who wore The Armor and with whom we created the performance and Aun Helden who I met after a long time following her work from afar. There I met such overwhelming artists!

In this case, I mixed several materials, high-temperature clay, porcelain and horsehair. During the performance Enco’s body was covered by the Armor and latex, like layers of skins, skins over skins, the idea was creating a rocky body and at the same time seeing exuvia metamorphosis.

S3R: How and why did the collab with Enco come about?

Johanna: I followed Enco on IG for 6-7 years, I admit I was attracted by Brazil also for the work of artists like Enco and it was amazing when I met my references there — I am just quoting someone: Enco, Aun Helden, Ray Castelo, Yan Higa…

Enco is a great performer, her research is extraordinary, the prosthesis she invents are crazy. I met Enco for coffee two, three days after I arrived there and immediately I felt good vibes, so later, when I decided I don’t wear the Armor for that performance, I asked her to.

S3R: Yesss and you’re using music by yvu (Yan Higa) – where did this collab come from?

Johanna: I met Yan at her show, I was very impressed by the violence and the power of her sound. I danced a lot.

S3R: Also we can’t forget about you’re lighting designers, so crucial to everything. Can u tell us a bit about the background of Luísã Burza and Martina Kapp? 

Johanna: The nice thing about this job was the involvement of the people I met. Luisa is a student of the FAAP university and right from the start there was a good understanding and an intelligent exchange of reflections, her way of approaching light was fundamental. She created a strange game of lights and shadows, big hands standed out of the wall, was almost a Lynch atmosphere. Martina is an Argentinian painter and a great friend, I met her during the residency and our meeting was fundamental both for the evolution of our work and for our whole life!

You can tap in and keep with all things Johanna Ivrea at and on IG @iranacredi

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