Everyone in São Paulo is talking about the critical and artistic success of Eric Jiani's first exhibit in São Paulo, held at the Galeria Grifo last month. Eric's "art brut" or unsophisticated, unschooled art received waves of praise from Brazil's major art critics. His drawings were completely sold out and numbers of people are interested in obtaining more..... A great poem cannot be classified, but its impact is direct and sharp. Eric Jiani's art defies classification but its impact is unmistakable.
Brazil Herald, June 22 1982 - On View At The Local Galleries - Sol Biderman
...foreign, self-taught, of few words and fewer friends, this artist is an unknown genius. If he is foreign, there is nothing in his work that shows signs of a gawping tourist in a tropical paradise. On the contrary, he shows a studied perception of "Brazilianness".
Grifo Galeria de Arte, May 6 1982
...A succession of imaginary figures and things that take over every bit of space, force the beholder to redouble their attention, thus discovering important aspects of composition which would not be perceived otherwise... The young artist is certainly not short of ideas. From the lugubrious houses to the "mefistophelic" creatures who live there, travelling through scenes of misery and orgies to political personalities, phrases and inscriptions, all this he somehow manages to fit and include in his mysterious art.
Folha de São Paulo, May 9 1982 - Artes Visuais - Ivo Zanini
Jiani draws as if he were exorcizing his personal demons and his art is in the confines of the exceptional, as much in his motivation as in the resulting visual. There is a painful denouncing, disturbing, of the human condition which the artist, in a more or less conscious manner, identifies with his own personal miseries. He mixes his own story with an external delirious and intricate universe.
Isto É, May 12 1982 - Artes - Olívio Tavares de Araújo
...all these internal experiences are enriched by a visual vocabulary and transformed through personal anxiety or through poetry into moving works of art... Through his art, life became meaningful and people became interesting; even little things assumed a dramatic proportion. He is like a hierophant and his art is a sort of temple open to anyone willing to share his artistic experiences
Veja, May 12th 1982 - Casimiro Xavier de Mendonça
... Eric Jiani works exhaustively on his dreamspace universe, filling all the space at his disposal, occupying all the possibilities on the horizon with his expression. His art accuses human society of cruelty through its organized, hierarchichal power structure... The young artist is not concerned with the formal details of quality of his drawings, but solely with the opportunity of being able to express his tortured vision of reality...
Jornal da Tarde, May 17 1982 - Jacob Klintowitz
... Jiani works in the narrow margin between reality, of which he is a ferocious critic, and fantasy where he sustains an associated process of his fantastic and delirious narrative... He is a rebellious marginal and at the same time a visionary spectator who wavers dangerously on the high perch of his observatory...
Estado de São Paulo, May 1982 - Sheila Leirner
...Jiani was born in London and when he was 5 years old he already showed his inclination to the arts. He started drawing with pencils followed by ballpoint pens. His themes were simple: trees, water canals, snails, churches and maps. When he was 10 years old he visited Rio and was enthralled by the Carioca landscape. He started to draw new maps (he used to walk from one place to another developing maps of the region) and landscapes... Jiani confesses he is quite overwhelmed by all the praise and attention he is receiving, but is unshaken by his choice...
The 'critics' and symbols in Eric Jiani's art - May 18 1982
The works by Eric Jiani in pen and watercolour now on show at Artspace, Parkshot are some of the most extraordinary to be seen locally for as long as I can remember.... Richard Dadd and Hieronymous Bosch come to mind, not only in the subjects, straight out of the unconscious mind, but in the technique which easily accomodates these fantasies...
Richmond and Twickenham Times, May 27 1988 - Robert Harris
...Eric Jiani is completely self-taught and has been working as a professional artist for more than 10 years. His work consists of pen and ink drawings, done on paper occasionally with a touch of watercolour. They are highly detailed, depicting a unique world inhabited by strange creatures and full of dark encounters. His pictures often feature people he has met throughout the various stages of his inner development as an artist.
The Brazilian Gazette, August 1988
There's some startling stuff at Artspace, Parkshot, till May 12th where Eric Jiani returns with more of his extraordinary studies of metropolitan decay and human degeneration in pen and ink with pale blue and pink washes...
Richmond and Twickenham Times, May 11 1990 - Robert Harris
...Do not go to this exhibition expecting the usual array of drawings of potted plants and watercolours of sunsets. These works have a strange and haunting quality, which demand a great deal from the viewer. They are extremely detailed and skilfully drawn. Some are urban scenes peopleD by characters from those moments between waking and sleeping, half disturbing and half friendly... A man of many talents, Jiani entertained those at his private view with a short recital of guitar music...