Self-Identity is a series of portraits showcasing my self-discovery as an artist through those closest to me. It sent me traveling home to Brazil to get to the heart of myself. Through my paintings, I unravel subconscious fears and joys once repressed; I communicate an emotional dialogue with my loved ones.
Once at home, I photographed my family and friends; for those since passed, I pieced together old photographs. Having captured my loved ones, I then wove in the elements of color, contrast and environment to bring my people to life. Color was my vehicle for expressing emotion and symbolism. Red—the color of fire and blood—is associated with energy, strength, power, determination, and love. In It’s About Love, a portrait of my mother and father, the red in the background depicts the love between them, the love that I have in my heart for them, and how they are very much still alive inside of me.
The contrast of light and shadow used in most of my paintings, such as on my self-portrait, Achievement, added drama and emphasis to represent life’s seemingly contradictory emotions: fear and joy. Those paintings portray my own internal conflict with fear and joy.
Environment contextualizes each person’s relevance and influence in my life. I placed my dear people in their environment, doing what they love the most. Danuza’s portrait, Pure Joy, shows my friend’s joy while she freely plays her tambourine outside. In Pure Emotion, I captured Bizzotto’s feelings while singing and playing his guitar in a musical performance inside a pub.
My passion for the arts started when I was a child, soaking in the life lessons distilled by those who were to become my role models. My grandmother, mother, and aunt, were not only art lovers but also dedicated painters. Self Identity pays homage to the people who have shaped my life; it gave me a space for exploring my interest in how personal identity is constructed and it honors what most inspired me to paint. Because of my friends and family, I developed an understanding and appreciation for my vision. Through my art, I express my respect, love and gratitude for the people close to me. Self Identity shows how fundamental our connection to the people around us truly is. The series also serves as catharsis for me, clarifying and enlightening my vision and feelings. Through art, I continue to find myself.