Interview: Eduardo Valdetaro
Luca Curci talks with Eduardo Valdetaro, the winner of ARTIST OF THE MONTH – JANUARY 2022.
Lives and works in Registro, Brazil. Visual artist and organic agroforestry farmer. He developed his artistic and farming practices influenced by a sense of belonging in nature and the healing of the soul. Among the forests of Vale do Ribeira he planted his agroforest with over 30,000 varied plant species, creating a new forest home to wildlife. In the field of art, he has dedicated himself since 2016 to ceramics production, exclusively through the technique of coiling and further experimentations with metal. In his most recent work, he pays tribute to ancient trees destroyed by man for material gain and contemplates the wealth of wisdom lost through this destruction. He also delves into themes of past and future civilizations, outer space and the celestial bodies. In 2021, his works were selected to be part of the book “Transgressões Cerâmicas”, curated by Andrés I. M. Hernández.
“Through art, every day I find healing for my soul. I create artworks motivated by a desire to inspire others to reflect on the challenges of our time such as mental health, increasing pollution, global warming and the destruction of nature. My artistic process starts with what I call mental excavations where I investigate my own memories of traumas, dreams, experiences. It is from this source that images emerge that will later become my artworks.”
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Eduardo Valdetaro – For me, art is a means of self-expression and an opportunity to tell my story and that of my generation. It shines a light on issues that afflict our society and is a medium to voice my beliefs.
LC – What are you currently working on?
EV – I am currently working on my first bronze sculpture and researching lost-wax casting and other casting techniques. In parallel, I continue to produce works for the “Sabedoria Perdida”(Wisdom Lost ) series, a critique on deforestation, the burning of ancient trees and the destruction of ancestral wisdom.
LC – What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
EV – Since 2016 I’ve been living on a farm and this has had a profound effect on my work. Leaving the big city life behind made me realize patterns in nature which have made me aware of such great intelligence working around me. This has influenced my work as a visual artist and also as an organic agroforestry farmer.
LC – What is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
EV – I consider that one of the artist’s roles is to provoke thought and emotion, good or bad. As for contemporary art, I believe that one of the roles is to reflect on current world issues, in addition to the incessant search of the artist for new discoveries and aesthetic creations.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
EV – In addition to nature, I am inspired by the personal experiences I have gone through and my ideas come to light by reflecting on these past events. Other sources for inspiration are ancient civilizations, imagining future civilizations, geometry, celestial bodies, the mysteries of outer space and the underground techno scene.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
EV – Being self-taught in both ceramics and metallurgy, mastering techniques to a level where I can build the artworks I imagine has been the most challenging. Especially with ceramics where errors lead to cracked or broken work. I also tend to come up with complex and risky designs which further increase the difficulty and test the limits of my chosen materials. However, with each failure lessons are learnt; broken works become teachers and with each success comes great satisfaction.