1.) Who are you and where do you live?
First of all, I’m Martinho Dias, a Portuguese artist living and working in Trofa – Oporto area.
My work is essentially painting. I work to myself and for the public that like what I do.
2.) What did you do before you decided to become an artist?
I have not yet decided to become “artist”, but I always wanted to paint, draw, design, compose, work with ideas – be free.
Before embracing the artistic activity in full time, I did illustrations and taught visual arts.
3.) When and why did you decide you devote to the art?
I always thought dedicate myself to art and I always worked in this direction. As in all activities – particularly in the artistic area – the time, work and persistence are crucial.
4.) What is your favoriteSubject (s) and design media?
I work with what is most convenient for me, but mainly with acrylic paint.
What I do is to decontextualise, above all, remove several of the protagonists of our time out of their comfort space; seek to abolish compartments and bring different realities for the same stage,
trying to thus build a new reality for the viewer.
My theme is particularly social, playing with different powers, different fringes of society and some irony and humor around many paradoxes – real or invented.
5.) Where or how to find inspiration?
All my work is born in my head. I do not do many studies. It takes me a few weeks to think and to build, almost mentally, a group of works.
After that I save main ideas on paper and look for my models. Finally, when I start painting, I only stop, usually, on the last work.
6.) What do you like about your work?
I like some narratives; some compositions, expression, color … Particularly, I like to surprise myself, (sometimes it happens). I like that each work be a pretext for a discussion beyond the physical boundaries of painting itself.
I like the conclusion phase of a work and that it has autonomy to live and defend for itself outside the studio.
7.) Which artist or art movement that has influenced you and what way?
Among others, I started interesting me by a Portuguese artist Júlio Pomar. Then for a while, I became interested by Joan Mitchell’s work, Sigmar Polke and David Salle.
In a case, the stain and the color; in another, the line and glued tissues, and in Salle, the figure.
Later, I met Jenny Saville and Gottfried Helnwein and I was fascinated. However, I do not consider that these artists have been decisive for what I’m doing today.
Right now, with the internet facilities, interests me the work, or parts of the work, from various artists … But I am still to know Rembrandt.
8.) What are the best answers that you have received for your work?
Some expressions like:
“I can not remain indifferent to your images”; “Every day I look at your picture and I find new things”; “Your paintings gave a beautiful draperies”; “Each work gives discussion for several hours”; “I have not found out how you managed to join cardinals and rugby players”; “I love this painting but that stain suffocates me”; etc.
9.) What are your favorite art and artists?
The Raft, 2004, Bill Viola;
Passage, 2004, Jenny Saville;
The Child Dreams, 2011, Gottfried Helnwein, among many others.
10.) What advice would you give to other artists?
Work, work, work … (after all, “who works for pleasure not tired”).
Boldness, determination, perseverance, look at all possible sides, not be swank, not dress wolf’s clothing nor lamb … Above all, to be honest and know what’s want.
11.) Is there a question which do you imagine itself again and again?
Why are we obsessed by numbers, graphs and equations and not by ideas or combination of colors?
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