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João do Vale at The Tokyo International Art Fair 2016

João do Vale (Born: Marinha Grande, Portugal 1976)
João do Vale was born in Marinha Grande, Portugal in 1976. He is
Doctor in Painting by the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto. He was
granted with a Doctoral Fellowship by the Portuguese Foundation for Science
and Technology (FCT-MCTES). He was Visiting Researcher of the Warburg
Institute in London during the Autumn of 2012. He is currently a member of
the Institute for Research in Art, Design and Society at the Faculty of Fine
Arts, University of Porto. He is an author of poetry and has two books
published. He is currently developing his own literary press in Portugal. He is
a visual artist (painter) and presents exhibitions regularly since 2006. He is
represented by Símbolo Gallery in Porto, Portugal. His painting is influenced
by modernist painting and poetry, as well as the phenomenological
I believe I am painting with Modernist dialects. I was soon
conscious I had to defend the ever-changing potential of my painting. That is
why I first got interested in Modernism as a whole, and this means as much
painting as poetry and philosophy. For me Modernism is the genesis of the use of metamorphic processes. After discovering painting I started reading
poetry and philosophy as much as I could so that this could create the
conceptual ground for my painting. What is interesting to me is the positive and constructive vision that aims at including reality and the imagination into
a single yet diversified abstraction. I am not interested in illustrating concepts
but in working with these concepts establishing a true pictorial poetry. My
painting is a result of the interplay between construction and composition,
fragment and juxtaposition, narrative and expression, dramatic role and
personal involvement and is deeply penetrated by life and experience. My
motifs can be referred as meta-portraits or meta-landscapes on which I act
upon. I aim at a dynamic, vibrating and lively balance between content and
form exploring a universe where the mind can enter and act, performing and
developing its own personal poetic approach to the world.
Q & A
How would you describe yourself…? And your artwork…?
Although I am working as I believe in a contemporary style, I like to
think of myself as a painter. I love painting most of all and admire great
painters from all ages of history. For me there is still some difference
between being a visual artist and a painter and I would like to include
me in the latter. I am working within a personal reading of
contemporary painting of course. We should be making things that
belong to our time. I am always searching for the new upcomings in
contemporary painting, new movements, new artists, and try to be
informed as much as I can. But I try not to lose sight of what is my own
personal work.
What drives you..?
New and interesting results. Searching with materials and mixing them
with ideas and putting them into practice. There is always a sort of
gravitational pull around an unfinished painting at the studio. I used to
let myself be completely driven by this pull and be completely
absorbed by it in a way that the real world would completely fade
away. Right now I am more interested in a constructive (not only
expressive) vision, and try to maintain a dialogue with the painting. It
stays incomplete for a longer period of time, I try to slow the process a
bit so I can think about it, studying options, materials, etc. I like to be
absorbed by the poetry of the process.
Where do you get your inspiration…?
From everywhere, basically. Nowadays there is no demanding subjects
for painting, everything can be turned into painting. So I am using a lot
of chance in the painting process. I have always paid attention to what
materials suggest. I love the way how a surface (a piece of found
board, an old used canvas on which I step at the studio) suggests a
form and a meaning. But I always used to read a lot and sometimes
this is very inspiring. It can create narratives for paintings. In this fair,
for instances, I am presenting two paintings that are based in readings.
One of Ovid’s
with the episode of Diana and Actaeon,
the other with Dante’s
I know my artwork is finished when…?
With the years, I have become obsessed with meaning. Of course,
painting is a very visual thing, its results are always very optical. But I
have always tried to obey the hidden meaning of the painting, what we
can call its purpose. Sometimes it is very clear, other times it stays
ambiguous and that’s alright. But it has always to be the confrontation
and balance between visual and meaning. I know the painting is
finished when this balance is achieved, it sort of hovers over the
painting, giving it its strength.
Would love to exhibit my work in …?
I would like to have international projection, of course. I would like to
exhibit in galleries around the world, in the great art capitals like New
York, Miami, Tokyo, etc. I would like to try a white cube gallery, just to
see how my work would result in that environment. But lately, most of
all, I am interested in working with people that truly enjoy my work.
That’s the most important thing. These can be artists, curators,
galleries from all around the world… I am open to group shows, etc. I
would like to exhibit with painters I admire and working with them,
entering into dialogues, sharing ideas and space.
Techniques I use to create my artworks are…?
I have been painting for a few years now and I have always used all
kinds of techniques and materials. I don’t like to limit myself to just
one. I like to experiment new materials or just use whatever is at hand
at the studio. It’s experimental and existential, not being forced and
having a large scope of possibilities. I can number some: acrylic, oil,
pigment, spray paint, glitter (lately), gouache and aquarelle, pen,
pencil, collage, montage. I also work a lot with found surfaces I find in
my walks through the surroundings.

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This entry was posted on April 15, 2016 by in Art.

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