Interview: Belinha Silva
Luca Curci talks with Belinha Silva during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Palazzo Bembo – Venice Grand Canal.
Art is Belinha’s food for the soul. Belinha was born in Lisbon and left Portugal as a baby to live in Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Greece and, currently, again in Portugal. She’s a self-taught painter who only in 2005 in Brussels took some short art courses, which allowed her to discover her artistic potential and gave her the punch to express herself artistically. Actually, she draws, paints in acrylic, watercolor, and oil, paints on porcelain, as well as on silk, she sculpts and creates jewellery. Belinha’s innate insatiable passion is magical because it allows her to achieve creations which are the fruit of her own designs and processes. Her creations, often surrealist, are always related to a context that can be socio-cultural, historical, personal or sentimental, by places or objects he has seen or imagined, rather than influenced by a specific painter. She believes that an artist expresses through his works his inner world becoming his artistic signature. Art must be interpreted freely by its spectators allowing them to use their imagination, inspirations and feelings. Belinha’s principal goal in Art is to touch the sensitivity of the public and this is the reason why she creates artworks. As an art creator, Belinha thinks that it is important to find that little bit which yet remains to be discovered in Art. This is what she achieved with her invented technique “Acrylic on canvas & painted porcelain fragments”. This technique consists firstly of painting the background of the entire canvas in acrylic. Then, the subjects of the painting are created with pieces of white porcelain fragments, broken randomly by hand, outlined and fired at 740ºC, painted with different mediums and fired again several times at a temperature ranging from 750ºC to 1000ºC. Afterwards, she combined those painted fragments together in order to build the characters and glued them on the already painted canvas. By associating two completely distinguished materials, canvas painting together with painted porcelain fragments, she gives porcelain painting a new life, obtaining this way a contemporary and inimitable painting. This is because, even in the 21st century, porcelain still remains to be presented in its traditional and obsolete form, without having been able to evolve or modernize in order to be presented in a contemporary Gallery. Her intention with this technique is to demonstrate that the originality of mixing porcelain with painting canvas can result to avant-gardism and contemporary painting, appropriate to be finally exhibited in an Art Gallery. Her goal is to become one precursor of the modernization of porcelain painting, to develop her mixed technique by making it evolves and to introduce it to as many people as possible.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Belinha Silva – I’m a self-taught artist who didn’t study fine arts, but finance and accounting. I had always a deep passion and love for all forms of art. It was only in Brussels, from 2005 to 2007, that I attended art classes discovering this way my real artistic potential. I can say that this experience was a revelation and a turning point in my life because from then on I started to express myself artistically. Suddenly, I discovered that I could satisfy my passion, by creating my own art. I began to have bulimia in discovering artistic techniques, accumulating them to the maximum and combining them in order to create singular artworks. That’s why, currently, I master various artistic procedures allowing me to use mixed textures and invent also my own techniques and working methods.
LC – What are you currently working on?
BS – Currently, I’m making a series of paintings under the title “Space Wandering”. This way, I try to express a tribute to the enormous variety, forms, colours and beauty of all kinds of the eyes of terrestrial creatures and my attraction to the mystery of the various planets existing in our surrounding galaxy. These paintings are created with the use of a mixed technique “Acrylic painting on canvas with painted porcelain fragments” invented by me.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
BS – I believe that an artist should work independently, according to his or her own feelings and not according to what others expect. I find that this is the only way to characterise a true creator/artist. However, I believe that it is equally important for an artist to be attentive to suggestions and criticisms. For me, all artistic suggestions, whether positive or negative, allow me to question myself by accepting or rejecting the various points of view. Anyway, suggestions of the public allow me not only to evaluate the way by which my art is perceived but also to make them evolve in my artistic path. That’s why suggestions are so important. In the same way, I try to visit as many museums and art galleries as possible so that I can admire several forms of art. This allows me to discover new affinities, sensibilities and mutual artistic emotions. All the artworks, either in harmony with my art world or not, allow me to evolve and continue my journey of artistic discovery.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
BS – First of all, let me say that I have a very unique particular style. Since 2007, I have learned a lot, because, at the beginning of this artistic adventure, I tried to assimilate as many artistic techniques as possible in order to find what suits me best. Then, according to my manner of working, my style and my way appeared quite naturally. This style is what characterises the artist, which makes him recognized by his way of painting or by his “artist’s touch”. Nevertheless, although the major part of this style remains, the artistic evolution accompanies it and does not stop there. You know, time is synonymous with learning, evolution and above all maturation, both in terms of the themes and the conceptions of the work. For example, I currently manage to present subjects in my paintings from a technical point of view and also in my way of creating my artworks, things that I was unable to do in the beginning, due to the lack of knowledge, process etc. By having new artistic ideas, by innovating, by mixing and inventing so many processes, as materials, the style is refined. On the other hand, my works evolve and mature with time. As an example of this, my latest invention is a mixed technique, which consists of painting the entire canvas in acrylic and then adding my subjects created with fragments of painted porcelain on the canvas. At the beginning of my artistic path, I wouldn’t imagine inventing such a technique and I believe that this is now one of the signatures of my style.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
BS – My often surrealistic creations are always in relation to a context which can be inspired by a socio-cultural, historical, personal or sentimental event, by places or objects I have seen or imagined rather than influenced by a specific painter. For example, during my confinement due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I created paintings that are directly related to this global context. Also, after watching a TV report on the war in Syria showing the marriage of a couple who were even taking photos with ruins as a background, it moved me so much, that I had to create a painting under the title “And… life goes on…” which was among a winning painting in an online contest. By presenting thematic, social, political, moral, environmental, climate issues or energy resources through my creations, I want to communicate and, above all, provoke debates. The work must become an important bridge between different geographical, cultural, social and moral areas, in order to be able to bridge the gap between two subjects of different origins.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the exhibition or as a part of pre-existing works?
BS – The 4 paintings presented at the exhibition in Venice were not produced specifically for this exhibition. Regarding the two paintings presented in the exhibition under the name of “Space Wandering I & II”, I had just finished them when I was admitted to the exhibition so I had the honour to present them for the first time in Venice. The painting “Who will balance the planet?” is a work created in 2020, which I had at home and which has never been presented in any other exhibition. The latest work “Colourful Beauty” dates from 2021 and has already been presented in December 2021 in an exhibition in London.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
BS – In my opinion, you have a very contemporary and avant-garde vision of art, which is totally in line with my own perception of art. Your innovation and singular side, your perception of the art that you exhibit in your exhibitions, fills me completely, given that as a creator/painter, I create surrealist works, partly abstract, which are non-replicable unique artworks. The themes of your exhibitions are very well chosen and the exhibition space, unique in the world, is simply Extraordinary. Well done, thank you.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
BS – I would be very proud if I could have this possibility to collaborate with you. For me, it would be an honour to be represented by such a big Gallery like yours. I have no problem creating works according to the theme you propose and even, working for you giving my modest artistic opinion, if necessary. I want also to specify that your services were VIP. My contact, Miss Giulia Tassi was flawless. She was always ready to help and answer at my emails. It was a pleasure to work with her.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
BS – I have no suggestions to give about your services. Anyway, I don’t see what more you can offer to the artists. I was very happy about your services.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID Group?
BS – I think only good things about ITSLIQUID Group, since I have had a very good experience with this Group.