Exclusive Interview with Portuguese artist Carlos Noronha Feio.

1. Can you tell us about your work and what are the main ideas you try and express

“bathed by the bright light of the sunset”

is an exhibition of painting at 3+1 Arte Contemporânea, a gallery in the heart of Lisbon’s cultural area.

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The work I am presenting is multilayered to say the least. On one hand, it speaks of image construction, of perspective and interpretation, perceived signs and the relations we create in our minds enabling us to ‘understand and read’ the documented image. In this case we are speaking of photographic images, I use them as background for these paintings. They are images that are meant to represent the different ‘native peoples’ inhabiting the pacific ocean area during World War II. Another layer relates to how we build meaning and then allow it to be triggered by the signs in the images. What makes us believe the stereotype present in the image as being an absolute. What makes us create a distance between us and the Other — hopefully this discourse then follows in the line of: If my reading is based in a sequence of triggers, signs and stereotypes, may it not be too simplistic to consider it as an appropriate reading. Is it not the same as to say that all English men are extremely polite (and snobbish) and they all dress impeccably (and dully) without forgetting bowler hats and brollies.

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The painted surface in front of the images could live free from the same. It is, I must say, one of my joyful struggles, the relation between the painted surface and the photographic background, or better, my own fight to stop the background from influencing the manner in which I paint the foreground (I find myself many times losing this fight). The painted surface responds to theoretical concepts of dispositif and form-of-life, from the works of Foucault, Deleuze’s and Agamben’s on relations of power and my own interpretations of these in a visual language. At the same time, these surfaces are empty of specific signifiers. The lines and dots, stains, sprays and nuances all relate to relations of power which are hermetically sealed. They speak of themselves as an example of what a pure relation could be visualised as. They are abstracted of any other meaning, and all decision making on their shapes, colours, materiality, tension, size, all these decisions are born of impromptu decisions, each informing the next.

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2. How do you decide what your next artwork/project will be and how do you know when it is finished?

I am not in a rush to finish series of work, or produce new ones, works mature each at its own pace. I am able to be working in a series for years and years with a very small output of work, while at the same time with some of the other I need to stop so as to let the ideas mature before restarting the work. I have constantly several series of work on the go, each at its own speed and tempo. They are all interlinked but independent, like siblings. Saying this I am also aware that some works get resolved in one or two pieces, while others need continuous attention and research.

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3. How has it been working with 3+1 on your exhibition?
I’m enjoying to do this exhibition with 3+1, they are a gallery I have been following for a few years and they work with some artists I really like the work of. In my last visit to Lisbon I had the chance to visit both the house and the studio of one of their artists, Carlos Nogueira, and I loved it, his work is great, poetical and beautiful. João Ferro Martins is an old friend which I have been collecting for some years, and Sara & André are also super interesting. I could go on and on — Cristina Garrido is a young artist based in Madrid which i had the chance to meet personally this time, I also really enjoy her work — but you and your readers should really check for yourselves, maybe even by visiting the city 🙂

It’s been a great experience, and it was also great to work with Antonio Grulli. Antonio is a curator and arts writer based in Bologna, his was the beautiful text for the show. James and Jorge — owner directors of 3+1 — were kind enough to invite Antonio to join us in Lisbon for a week, so I had a great time with them, Antonio and I even had time to go to the beach once — mid november — it was 26 degrees Celsius.

4. What do you have planned for the rest of 2015 and early 2016?
The next show I am really eager to do is happening in April in London’s narrative projects — www.narrativeprojects.com — I am developing a new series of work for them.

You can catch Carlos’s exhibition bathed by the bright light of the sunshine until 16th January 2016 at 3 +1 CONTEMPORARY ART Gallery Rua António Maria Cardoso, 31 | 1200-026 Lisbon Portugal www.3m1arte.com

About
Carlos Noronha Feio (born 1981) is a Portuguese artist. His work is in a variety of media, including video and book works, occasionally requiring craftspeople and industrial makers such as in a series of war rugs made in the Arraiolos tradition.

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About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the founder and editor of FAD magazine, a curation of the world’s most interesting culture, and Creative Director of FAD Agency, a digital creative agency: www.fad.agency