Art, // August 21, 2022
Celio Seixas — ARTIST
Interview with artist Celio Seixas —
1. Where were you born, do you currently live and what is your academic background?
I was born in Campo Grande, in 1954 in a neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro/RJ-Brazil that at the time was characterized by a large rural area. I was raised in a place in daily contact with nature.
Over the years, I found myself faced with the need to choose a profession, even taking a university entrance exam for engineering, but at the age of 19, I started painting. Over time I managed to buy a place in an area of Atlantic forest that I have kept preserved for 23 years. Today I have an Atelier in the neighborhood where I was born, and I embarked on the path of art under the guidance of some teachers as a self-taught person.
2. Why art?
Art came as a way to connect me with something that could bring me answers to the questions I asked about the fact of being alive here on Earth and having to die without having chosen that option. I thought this was an assault on my right to choose and the mysteries of life tormented me. Art came along with spiritual quests, on a mystical walk through various sects and religions always hand in hand with nature, which made me also work as a landscaper for 20 years.
3. What is the oldest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I don’t have that memory, I never wanted to be an artist, art came in the form of a cure and I was born wanting to transform things, when I had nothing to do, I took tools and started weeding, building wooden houses, planting. In short, artistic work was implicit in everything I did.
4. What are your favorite themes? What materials do you use in your works?
My favorite subject is the man and his actions in the face of a world full of beauty and mystery.
It is life that springs from nothing, returning to nothing, always in that powerful circle that hides the great architect of it all. In fact, for me, making art was the way I found to feel closer to God, I can, like him, transform materials into images, dreams, I can do everything with regard to the freedom of the soul.
Regarding materials, I have already worked with ceramics. In the 1980s, I formed a team working with 49 people. Wood, natural pigments, acrylic paint, oil, ink, glue and cement.
5. How do you work and approach the theme of your works?
There is a process that makes a feeling blossom, sometimes creation springs from a mental void, an unpretentious trace, an ink stain spread with unconscious gestures can be the beginning of a sequence of actions that will come, creating a bigger thing that will involving making you believe in it, but the bigger thing can also come out ready, then you don’t have to react too much, make an effort to believe. There are two ways, but both come from God.
6. Which artist inspires you?
I admire Picasso a lot for his versatility, productivity and genius…
When I was looking to add volume, give life to shapes, I also started to see something of Tarsila do Amaral.
7. What were the best answers you’ve ever had about your work?
I created a line of exclusive ceramics, forming a team with 49 employees, in the 70’s. After that, I went to live only of arts participating in several salons and awards, having participated in 2010 in a sample of Brazilian artists in Sweden, in Stockholm, winning 3 gold medals and 10 bronze medals. Until the end of the 80’s, I founded an NGO with local leaders to boost the culture of the region and preserve the environment, managing to register three important areas that would be subdivided for construction as an environmental protection area. In 2018, I returned to painting making ink, and won first place in the Olhar 2019 exhibition in São Paulo, in a competition with artists from all over Brazil. In 2022 I participated in the exhibition at the Espaço BB art gallery and at the Roberto Calixto Pinacoteca in Santos/SP, being also selected for the exhibition “Art e o tempo” with 40 emerging artists from around the world in Milan, Italy.
8. What do you like most about your job?
I find it interesting to transport thoughts, feelings, ideas, life events and realities. And I’m surprised when I manage to do that in my works.
9. Do you have any other activity besides being an artist?
From 2019 onwards, no. I intend to dedicate myself exclusively to the plastic arts until the end of my life.
10. What are your main participations in exhibitions?
2010-Exhibition of Brazilian artists in Sweden
2019-Exhibition Olhar 2019 in São Paulo/SP
2022-Exhibition gallery space BB-Banco do Brasil
2022-Pinacoteca Roberto Calixto in São Paulo
2022-Virtual exhibition at Raphael Art Gallery- Curated by Edmundo Cavalcanti.
11. What advice would you give to other artists or future artists?
I think that art cannot just be at the mercy of technique, creation comes from the invisible, from the abstract and when it comes it also brings with it its sustaining rules, hence the concept that art creates rules, but rules do not create art. You need to be careful!
12.- Where do you see yourself in 5/10 years?
As I have already learned and accepted that in this life we are like little ants, I don’t usually think about it. I prefer to make plans, when I make plans I always see myself at the end of the line accomplished, optimistic.
13. Plans for the future?
Trying to recover the 20 years that I couldn’t work only with painting, and going to large panels in an attempt to make reality, images loaded with symbologies, bringing references of the paths I walked and the countless questions made by men in this passage here on Earth. I intend to look for partnerships for this new project.
Edmundo Cavalcanti é nosso colunista de artes para Arts Illustrated em São Paulo, Brasil.
Instagram: @ cavalcanti.edmundo
Virtual Art Gallery: https://www.instagram.com/raphael.artgalleryvirtual/
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LInkedin: Edmundo Rafael de Araujo Cavalcanti