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Behind the African faces of Freta NGO.

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

Your first personal meeting with Freta NGO will never become ordinary. You will be charmed by his modesty, stylishness, huge African eyes and heart. As well as his paintings. Bright, sensual made in a specific African style of painting. Freddy's paintings always attract attention. Be it your private collection or the white walls of our gallery. His path as an artist is impetuous, although he has not even stepped over the "middle age", he brightly, sweepingly and fearlessly runs forward.

This is a very rare occasion to meet a young artist (especially in a contemporary Portuguese art gallery) who so easily runs from abstraction to portraits, impressionism, cubism, sculpture and combines it with contemporary African art.

Freta NGO : Why NGO? All the surnames of my Angolan family ended on NGO. And its also in of the Name of Angola.

My style was always kind of infantile, when people started making fun of me and saying I couldn’t paint I was striving more and more for realism. I was around 15/16 years old. Then I discovered Basquiat. Suddenly, works I did a few years before, seemed to be approved. I felt like something was telling me that I am on the right way. I always dedicated most of my time to portrait-paintings. Imaginary and self-analytical. The face as the mirror of the soul.

My art is brutal.You can call it brutal art- yes, because life is brutal. Birth is painful. And saying goodbye to something or somebody also is often felt as unpleasant. It´s not easy to face brutality. Humans tend to freeze or run away. But you get used to it after a while. You develop the capability to resist and to observe it in order to eternalize it one day in your art. The most unbearable moments of life will nourish glorious artworks. When you are almost about to jump naked on the street with a kalaschnikow in your hands. When you have nothing to lose. Then the time has come to start painting. If you sit in front of your canvas instead of burning down the whole world. Then you overcame the tragedy and moved on to the transition from self-destruction to catharsis.

My method of working is more accidental. Usually I don´t think and don´t plan my future work, but let it just happen. Ideas come up spontaneously. The moment when I start my visual thinking is the moment when the brush touches the canvas. It can happen that I plan it before, because i have concrete ideas. At the end, the majority of arranged paintings end up being unfinished. 99% of my paintings are negro paintings. For me its like writing a diary entry. When I start reviewing old memories (paintings) I remember emotions. I can tell if I was able to explain a situation or if lost control over communication.

At Artist´s place in Funchal

Idols and goals:I was obsessed with Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Rainer Maria Rilke and recently with Basquiat. Now i am adult. I am not a child anymore. The time has come to move on and grow up. Eventually i am very busy with learning to be myself.

Future, plans, fears:I don´t see myself settled at a certain place. I am feeling more and more like a nomad. I don´t make plans. I enjoy the results of my unreflected decisions. Everything that happens is an accident.

at Art Center Caravel

AUTUMN. Oil on Canvas 60x40cm

JUNGLE PITH. Oil on Canvas 60x40cm

STILL LIFE WITH VINHO TINTO. Oil on Canvas 60x40cm

Veronika Zhezhovska

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