Interview with Sílvia Marieta
Sílvia Marieta was born in Lisbon (Portugal) in 1982.
Like any child, she began to draw from an early age, the taste remained, and quickly caught the attention of teachers, parents and friends with her drawings. During the adolescent she started to paint oil on canvas on her own initiative, and in 2001 went to the University of Fine Arts to the University of Lisbon, in Portugal, to study painting. Finishes her degree in 2006, and it was also in that same year that she participated in her first exhibition, but it was only after 2010 that she began to be more frequent in exhibitions, for being associated to several portuguese and spanish associations of artists, which made it possible to participate in international collective exhibitions and some on national soil. She dedicates herself full-time to painting, and has several portraits in private collections in Portugal, Spain, France…
Resides in Portugal, in the beautiful Templar city of Tomar, and dedicates herself, whenever possible, to painting compositions with the human being as the main highlight, and often some commissioned paintings. And is always trying to improve her knowledge of painting in workshops (Realistic Art Atelier of Porto, Barcelona Academy of Art…) and also doing some research, in books or on the internet.
1. Sílvia, what moves you about the way that colours interact on a painting?
I think colour has great power, it also plays a prominent role in a work of art, more specifically on the response of the observer. I believe that colors have the ability to trigger emotional reactions, these in turn, combined with a series of elements that make up the shape, trigger a multitude of thoughts, memories, and a series of associations, within the list of experiences of each one, that observes. I read somewhere that in the field of representations, colours, or their absence, access meanings anchored in human’s cognitive capacity to perceive and recognize values and sensations.
So color decisions in my painting are a combination of the emotional and rational side, the warm colors, like the reds take on the meaning of pulsating life, passion or the opposite: pain, cold colors, such as blues suggest a state of calm, emotional distance…
2. Is it important that your art feels alive in some way?
When representing realistic human beings, but taking them out of the everyday context, I intend to present, through painting, another reality, thus I intend them to be quite alive and intense, as if they were transitioning us to another plane.
It is like a reality that exists, but it is not perceptible and that’s why I materialize it, making it almost palpable.
3. Apparently, you are always on the lookout for new messages to include in your artwork. What makes something special enough to be used in a painting?
The messages have something to do with the human psychic world, and the beauty of the human physiognomy, but a beauty that deviates a little from the standards. Is to establish a relationship between the exterior and the interior.
I use my own experience and development as a human being, evolution and maturation, but something more focused on a deconstruction of the self, as an inhabitant of a body and relationship with the other and surrounding environment.
But what becomes more special to include in the painting’s message is a kind of invisible force that moves us, a kind of “anima”, and an attempt to access the more unconscious side…
4. Where does your inspiration come from? What are you trying to convey in your paintings?
We’ve all experienced that sensation of shivers down our spines and sparkles in our eyes, when something touches us in some way, it stimulates your senses, mind, or intellect…I can say that’s my starting point, some kind of more intense experience, captured by some of the basic senses, which the response somehow gets stuck in the mind, leaves an “impression”, in my case in the form of an image. So I turn to painting to materialize in an attempt to crystallize a moment, something translated in the visual mind, but as it is not defined, I then look for reference material, such as other images to help me build. The visual baggage accumulated over the years it will also contribute to this construction, in the sense that it can present solutions close to what I intend to represent, or sometimes they also serve as stimuli for new images.
5. In your opinion, when does a work of art become important?
I think that a work of art becomes important when it has the power to trigger a reaction in the viewer, regardless of its popularity. When it conveys some truth with which the viewer is able to establish a connection.
6. Your approach to portrait painting is often described as the unmasking of the subject’s personality to go beyond what people see at the first glimpse. How does that process work?
In fact, it’s not so much about the other, who is being portrayed, but what the other triggers on myself, if we find commonalities, or opposites, it’s something that requires some coexistence, or a first idea formed about the other, like that first impression of “glance”, and what that glance triggers on this side. All these impressions, after perceived and assimilated, are translated, in the visual mind, into lines, shapes, colors, forming an image, full of symbology’s and meanings, after analyzed. It can get to the true facet of the other or the creator.
7. Is it possible to judge art objectively?
I think that only happens in part, that the objective assessment is incomplete, considering that there are so many forms of artistic expression, and different motivations from artists, I also think that in art personal taste is always very involved, unless we just talk of some aspects. Aspects such as: technical execution, composition, theme and concept, inserted in the social and historical context, can be objectively analyzed. But art has the ability to “awaken” something in the other, in the observer, and here subjectivity arises, because it somehow reflects something that no longer belongs to the artist, and the artist in turn attributed an intrinsic meaning to the work, at the moment of realization. The work of art presents the artist’s own language, which aims to persuade or seduce, how to analyze this objectively?
8. What is your next big challenge to tackle?
As an artist the challenges are constant! But I have some projects for the coming months, such as the opening of a new studio, where I will be able to teach and exhibit the works I produce. And I have a big exhibition scheduled for the end of 2022, and meanwhile I intend to develop my painting, in order to introduce more characters and create some dynamic between them.
9. Make a reflection for our collectors.
Besides the flesh, the body, what are we!? What is really important in human existence, what relationship we have with ourselves and with others, as individual and collective beings! Is there a purpose, or is it the result of chance!? We have some control, or is it an illusion, these are some of the questions that arise and are linked to my act of painting, it is certainly not painting that will respond to that, but it is a way to expose and share the doubts, the pains, the uncomfortable, giving them beauty, sublimating them.