Stephen, tell us a little about yourself ...
I'm piracicabano, graduated in Geography from UNESP in Rio Claro and with a Masters in Education, in the Philosophy core, at UNIMEP – Piracicaba. some hobbies are cinema, woodwork, dance and music, a lot of music.
Since I was a teenager I have been an appreciator and researcher of Brazilian music and an activist in cultural movements. Always looking for ways around artistic manifestations, between music and plastic arts.
I took painting classes at Narege Atelier de Artes – Grupo Patamares – in Campinas, for six months. I worked as a broadcaster in Campinas and presented the program Raízes Africanas at Educativa FM de Piracicaba by 12 years. in my artistic curriculum, there are numerous exhibitions, since 1999. The first was the collective opening exhibition of the Centro Ecológico e Cultural da Rua do Porto – GAIA. Since then, I have participated in exhibitions in Piracicaba, Campinas, Santos and São Paulo. With two acquisition awards, being an international.
I was invited to participate in some sites such as Oscar D'Ambrosio – journalist and master in Visual Arts by the Institute of Arts of UNESP, degree in Letters (Portuguese and English) and Doctor of Education, Art and History of Culture at Mackenzie University and Communication and Marketing Manager of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa de São Paulo.
When he woke up his desire to be an artist?
It was in the year 1997, in my last year of geography course. As my monograph was already well advanced, for being awarded a scientific initiation scholarship, there were few subjects left to complete the Geography course. So I started making some canvases. Since my brother and a close friend were already making canvases. My brother and other friends were plastic artists, participated in exhibitions Campinas, São Paulo, Piracicaba and Americana. They even won awards and this was influencing me. I always had a search, how to express myself artistically. I tried music theater and found myself in the fine arts. After making my own canvases, reusing materials, I bought some paints and brushes and started to paint in the republic where I lived in the city of Rio Claro.
What kind of art do you like best?
I really like Van Gogh, of so-called neo-impressionism, of german expressionism, of naïve art. But I don't raise flags. I think artistic expression, in this case the visual, shouldn't be so labeled. I admire contemporary art too, like the conceptual art of Cildo Meirelles, the paintings of Siron Franco, Bansky.
In fact, the labels are some critics and the art market. put on a shelf, to fit artistic creation into a market niche to become a production piece, brings its mischaracterization as an effect. Who is against these totalitarian dictates, and he doesn't intend for his works to become just merchandise., is sometimes labeled and placed in the margin, called "damn". According to musician Jards Macalé: "The cursed is kind of blessed in an inverted way". The "price" for this freedom and the non-integration of certain groups, can lead to ostracism and oblivion. Although many artists, as in some cases, as or from Van Gogh, Cézzane, not having been understood at the time they lived, for being innovative, in aesthetic language, and for doing timeless work, suffered for it.
How he developed his style (techniques)?
My style, was developed as a self-taught artist, who attended an art course very little and never attended a fine arts university. I always thought this was not necessary., since many quality artists have not gone through this. I used the concept of "do it yourself". But I started drawing from an early age and I think my brother and friends influenced me.. But I always looked for my own style and I think I started as an expressionist and naïve (for not having a background in arts.), So I started making some canvases, So I started making some canvases.
Cite if you had artistic influences in your works and which artists?
Are many, but i would quote van gogh, James Ensor, Egon Shiele, Chagal, Miró, Paul Klee, George Grozz, Di Cavalcanti, José Antonio da Silva, Jota Carlos, Géricaut, Ribens, Delacroix, are countless.
Do you have a family member or acquaintance who is an artist?
I have some friends artists, those from Campinas, Heitor Takahashi, Fábio Bittencout (ambos in memorian), Tito Lobo from Paraíba, Henry Victor, Marinilda Boulay. Angolan Paulo Chavonga. in Piracicaba, Tony Azevedo from Pernambuco, Pacheco Ferraz (in memorian), Marilu Trevisan to name a few. I met Niobe Xandó at an exhibition by the collage group from São Paulo in which I participated.
Living from art is possible?
I think it's possible in big cities, when you are represented by some gallery.
Ever thought about not acting with more art? can comment why?
In the sense of the lack of appreciation of artists in Brazil, but also because of the way the Culture Industry appropriated the means in which you can be inserted in the art market. I don't agree when a package is offered in which you receive an offer to be placed on the Market in New York, just to cite as an example.
What skills are needed today for the artist?
I think that in addition to taking an art course, is really "getting hands on", as the musician and composer Tom Zé said, when asked about your genius, and he answers: "I'm not a genius, i'm like japanese, I break stone every day, nay, I work very hard and insistently, until I reveal something". So I guess what brings something new, or something interesting, unusual, is the insistence, the persistence, the act of not settling easily for something, be restless and always be searching.
What do you feel when you create or appreciate a work of art?
The feeling is of well being, relaxation, with an effect similar to a Yoga or Tai-chi-chuen session.
Your inspirations to create a work of art?
The diversity of colors and images that permeate our daily lives and our people. the samba dancers, everyday people.
The product of your work is unique or has a close or distant relationship to your previous work?
I think I always looked for my own path, despite the influences, despite being self-taught, my technique was improving. I think I have two main aspects to my painting, one is freestyle, next to surrealist writing technique, in which I create with very little prohibition of conscious thought, letting the designs appear by themselves. The theme of painting takes shape a posteriori. Another line of my work, that's when I think of a theme like the painting in which I won the Friends of the Gallery Award in Slovenia last year, entitled “Homage to the samba of São Paulo I”, in which I created through photo drawings.
What are the challenges of art / artist in the current scenario?
be critical, emancipatory. Art is urgent and necessary at the present time, since it takes us to other places, the strange, the unknown. art is not reality, but dialogue with her and reinvent her. We need this reinvention, of the illusion, as Ferreira Gullar said: "Only life is not enough".
Social networks have helped you to spread your work?
Yes, social networks today are an important dissemination tool, and was and is being very helpful, in this pandemic time that we are going through.
How plastic arts can contribute to education and culture?
In the transformation of people mainly. How art shows another dimension of life, she creates another look, it changes people's perception and the way they see themselves. Logo as a change effect, another perception of the world around you, so the relationship with the surroundings and with people becomes another.
How you analyze the qualities of a work of art?
by expression, by vibration, if it brings something new, of different, se destoa do status quo, besides beans and rice.
What are the criteria for stipulating the value of a work of art?
I think that those who are not really involved in the art market, finds it difficult to put a price on their work.
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Talk about your projects today ...
It is always producing, and trying to find a market niche.
What's your advice for those just starting out?
Never give up despite the ups and downs.
About your exhibitions, have any comments regarding, feelings…
it's good to participate, be in contact with artists, connoisseurs and curators. Hear opinions about the works.
Could you comment on some artistic curiosity?
In the work Passage (see website), mixed media, I used the collage technique and the curious thing is that an image appeared close to my dog, who had died a short time ago. So I quote "Artaud" when they questioned him: "Art represents life? It's not art that represents life, but life is a transcendent principle on which art brings us back in contact".
How would you define your art in one line?
openness to the different.
I put Oscar D'Ambrosio's text and some reflections:
According to the critic, the work of Stephen: "The holy dissatisfaction – art is, one way or another, depending on the artist, always an expression of a self in relation to a surrounding world. It reveals itself in many ways, but it brings its own knowledge that manifests itself, for example, in the selection of themes and colors used in each work. in your pictures, Stephen presents something I dare to call holy dissatisfaction. In his work resides precisely the devotion to a thought in which he is generally the protagonist in the sense of being in painting or of, through her, express content with good humor and irony. Discontent becomes visible in the constant search that each canvas proposes. The big issue is the search for a plastic solution for an energy that spills over into each new composition, marked by a very personal knowledge, developed in the mix of thinking with doing. Warmer shades are a visual alternative very close to this junction of sacred and contestation. A art, for Stephen, seems to arise just like something divine, not in the sense of being inaccessible, but of keeping within itself a magic that allows space for critical reflection".
In my eyes and in the vision of Artist Lídice Salgot: The party, the utopian, the unlived world, but desired or sometimes already tried. the serenity, the lightness, in the middle of the mess and the chaotic. the landscape from within, the expression, the color and the movement. the ephemeral, the passing, all this is present in the work of Stephanus. Dissatisfaction for believing in the utopian, no love, in ethical values. Dissatisfaction for wanting the fair measure of things.
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