Fátima is an artist that embodies the principles of Artourney; a passionate artist that's seeking a way to come up in the challenging art world, looking for a chance to let her amazing art be known and loved! Read our interview with Fátima below to get to know this rising star from Portugal.
2021 - Collective Synergy, Chicago, USA
2021 - ARTIS XVII – Festa das Artes e Ideias de Seia, Seia, Portugal
2021 - Open Fragment online exhibition, London, UK
2021 - The Virus who came to Tea, London, UK
Who is Fátima and what does she do?
I was born in 1975, in Faro, Algarve, south Portugal. I started painting early, at the age of 14 in a Painting Club at Basic School. After, I was a student of Arts during three years at the Secondary School. There, for the first time, I started doing oil paintings with my teacher, the painter Rosa Trindade. Already at that age I expressed myself through abstract expressionism and the use of color. Since then, oil painting has been my favorite painting material, although I used other materials for a while like acrylics, pastels or charcoal.
What is your background?
I always painted, all my life, but I do not have an art degree. In that regard, I’m a self-taught artist that express my feelings and experiences of life by color, movement and texture in an abstract way! I’m a primary school teacher with a PhD degree in Child Studies, specialized in Elementary Mathematics because of my endless eagerness of learning. For many years, I have painted less, because I had to dedicate most of my time to research and to the dissemination of my work in international conferences and scientific journals. However, in mid-2018 I decided to return to painting and invest seriously in my passion. This was also the result of a burnout that ate me alive during the years until 2019 leading me to a sick leave to recover. Since then I have created more than 100 artworks. In the true sense, art was my lifeline…
What does art mean to you?
Art means everything to me! My abstract art is my poetry. Nowadays I couldn't see my myself without producing and appreciating art. At least in a sane way. I can’t stay away from expressing my perceptions, emotions, feelings and causes in a canvas…It’s also my vehicle to immortalize points in time, my reality or events with major impact, both at personal or societal levels.
What do you think art means to people in general? What is the importance of art in the world?
I love the fact that art allows people to react to an artwork and fill the blanks with their own perceptions and feelings. That’s why I think art should have a higher importance in the world that currently has. It is still seen as an elitist way, inaccessible to the majority of the “normal person”. But nothing could be so far from the truth. I’m not talking about price tag but rather availability to those who want to appreciate it and want to read between the lines… I think in that regard that those in the art world should create conditions to make it more accessible, to let this inspirational light that is art, flow in to each one’s life. I believe that it would result in a better world.
How do you work?
My work method is very peculiar, I would say. I need to abstract myself completely from the outside world. Put a dome around me and dive inside a world that is only mine. I use music for that. Painting only with pure oil and with impasto technique there is no room for hesitations, fears or second thoughts. As a consequence, I love to produce colorful, full of movement, breathtaking textures in all my paintings. My abstractions convey a world that is situated "between the narrow threshold of chaos and order", a fusion of both lightness and darkness. The way I work or technique I use is also a way to combat and contradict my anxiety that interferes so much in my mood, since my works can take up to 3 years’ to dry and be ready to deliver to the collector.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From all around me. I’m driven by the emotions of the day, how I feel in that particular moment in time and place. All my artworks are a snapshot of those moments. I’m not able – and I won’t – to run away from what surrounds me, doesn’t matter if it's people, the weather or the news. It’s a blend of all this rotating at high speed! Being alone with me, myself and I, in the wild nature, I can dive deep in my own thoughts and become capable to absorb the colors of the flowers around me, the smells of the green fields and the relaxing sounds of nature. That environment triggers something in me that I can’t resist but place it in a canvas.
Which artist or artwork inspires you most?
There are many artists that inspire me! From the classical to the contemporary. It is hard, and even unfair, to mention just one or two. There is so much beautiful art out there, that the simple look at it can click inside of me. In my childhood I was driven to my mothers’ art books with pictures of Vermeer, Bosch, Van Gogh or Gauguin. But, obviously being a contemporary artist producing abstract art I’m also driven more towards this type of art, like the ones produced by Rothko or Gerhard Richter. I consider myself eclectic on that regard. I have lots of artworks in my place – most produced by me – It's like a living gallery with an exhibition every month! But I also have several contemporary artists within my collection, like Carla Sá Fernandes, Claúdia Trongmo or Joris Graaf, but also some Portuguese artists from the beginning of the XX century.
Who would you like to be compared to?
I do not want to be compared with any other artist. Every great artist has built its own space and identity without making art that could be mistaken as other. It was theirs without any shadow of a doubt. According to this perspective, I would like that my work would have its own identity and I hope that my work will be recognized as being mine, like a Van Gogh is a Van Gogh, a Rothko is a Rothko or a Vieira da Silva is a Vieira da Silva. I would like that this recognition would happen during my life time and not later, like to so many artists. All I can do is do my best towards this aim.
What do you hope to achieve in your art career?
I hope to achieve this recognition that I was mentioning. Is not easy in a more and more competitive world with so many amazing artists out there trying their best to come out of the shadows too. Despite this, I will keep on my track, making adjustments along the way, always trying to improve my identity and how I see and express my feelings and my perspective of the world around me. I’m not immune to the outside environment and, as I mentioned before, it is one of my sources of inspiration, the “now”, the “today”.
What do you like and dislike about the artworld?
I love the fact that the art world is a dynamic ecosystem, a living organism with its peculiar rhythm, sometimes slow, sometimes at light speed. This means that something new is always happening and new trends always arriving. This continuous innovation creates pressure on the existing artists but I think that each one of us must be pulled out of their own boundaries and explore the unknown. Maybe it is on that “unknown” that our true self is found…
But there are several thinks I dislike in the art world and I do believe that my views are shared by many artists out there. One is the fact that the road is much harder if the artist is self-taught and/or doesn’t have an art degree. So many barriers rise in front of you in those occasions. Is almost a feeling of being ostracized, not by the other artists - either established or not – but rather by those who define the trends, who define what is supposedly “good” or “bad”. The second, is the amount of people that gravitate around the artist asking for money. Always asking the artist money if one wants to exhibit or even to be shared on the social media, without any guaranties of any return whatever… These two issues together make it harder for a self-taught or emerging ones. These were two of the reasons why I created the @screamingart_group in Instagram, to create synergies between the artists worldwide creating new opportunities to everyone. I am a dreamer, so I believe that we can create our own pathways, improving the reality…