The theories guiding my art practice are largely defined by my academic background in Decadence and Aestheticism. I am concerned with the status of the image: seductive, unknowable, dangerous, and immortal. The image exists in a liminal space between illusion and reality, lies and truths, life and death. As such, the image represents the sublime. Once created, the image exists beyond the artist – it grows independently from the artist and is constantly being recreated. On the one hand, it captures a single, exquisite moment in time and therefore holds the valence of stasis and death. On the other hand, the image’s perpetual recreation means that it captures the myriad of experiences Walter Pater discusses in the conclusion to The Renaissance and therefore, it holds the valence of metamorphosis and life. It is particularly fascinating when the distinction between Art and reality begin to fall apart. Is it Art that imitates life or life that imitates Art?
I apply the theories that define my aesthetic to contemporary subject matters that range from gender relations to environmental concerns to international identity. As a Brazilian who grew up in an international environment, now living in the United States, and traveling around the world, I am constantly experiencing new cultures and exploring new definitions of identity. When working, I always begin with a concept, argument, or narrative I want to explore. Then I progress into a series of sketches and loose writing that ultimately leads to an abstract compositional form. I then take that composition and transform it into a representational work.
Art is the order in the sea of chaos.
Art is the face of immortality when confronted with the inevitability of death.
Art is the myriad of experiences to be sought.
The Artist lives as Art.
Although my themes are contemporary, my painting technique and drawing background are grounded in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian visual culture. I paint using high-pigment oils and use a layered approach with a careful balancing of solvents that ensures longevity. I am also aware of the environmental impact of most commercial solvents and therefore try to limit myself as much as possible to natural, environmentally-safe liquids. My choice in technique has manifold reasons and this process is a central component of my art practice.
First, this Renaissance method of painting references my Venetian and Florentine background. Painting in the style of my ancestral country of origin allows me to place myself within a greater socio-historical context, something that is often difficult for third-culture immigrants.
Second, this choice stems in part from my brief dalliance with engineering and my long-lasting interest in interdisciplinary practice. The Renaissance method allows me to look at Art as Science. In order to work in this technique, I have had to study perceptual psychology, anatomy, chemistry, as well as art history and fine arts. I see this method as allowing me to traverse disciplinary boundaries and challenge myself intellectually with each piece.
Third, the essentially guaranteed longevity of this method directly relates to my theoretical interests in creating a Neo-Decadent work of art. The Decadents were drawn to the apparent immortality of the image, a characteristic that makes the visual arts both transcendent of death as well as intimately linked to death. This is something I have explored in detail in my academic writing.
Fourth, this technique creates a believable illusion of depth in the image that ties into my theories concerning Art as the creation of a perfect reality. Painting is like sculpture in that I treat my subject as something that has to be molded into believability. Working in layers allows me to create rich, deep colors that heighten the sense of the “real” within the image-plane.
Major Events and Public Projects:
Houston Zoo, painting-for-conservation initiative (June 2011-present)
Barcelona World Race, Team Neutrogena artist (December 2010-May 2011)
Galeria Atelier, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, solo exhibition (November 2012)
Singapore via INSTINC artist residency, solo exhibition (June 2012)
Limb Design, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (April 2012)
Jack Hanna Gala, Houston Zoo, solo exhibit (October 2011)
Watson Gallery, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (October 2011)
Norma R. Ory Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2011)
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Houston, Texas, Awty International Gala (2011)
Willard Straight Art Gallery, group exhibit for Forword Literary Magazine (2009)
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, group exhibit (2009)
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, group exhibit (2008)
Hayloft Gallery, Reliant Center, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2006)
Hayloft Gallery, Reliant Center, Houston, Texas, group exhibit (2005)
- Cornell UniversityCollege Scholar Program & English, 2006 - 2010
- Rice UniversityVisiting graduate student - English, Art History, 2010 - 2011
- School of Visual ArtsContinuing Education (Illustration), 2009 - 2009
- Angel Academy of Art, Florence, ItalyClassical Realist Painting, 2007 - 2008
- MedalliaAnalyst, 2013 - present
- Atelier Heidi CeleghinAritst & Business owner, 2010 - present
- Museum of Fine Arts, HoustonArtist, Teacher, 2010 - 2013