“Art is life, you just have to recognize it. Everything can be inspirational for art if you consider it with presence. Art is also putting outside what you have inside and can’t be described with words, it’s the essence of life.”
These were the words of Pedro Alves when I asked him his definition of art. Pedro is a local artist from Madeira, who I had the opportunity to interview next to his paintings at the caravel art center.
We started speaking about some of his most representative artworks and then we talked about his techniques, creative process, and feelings related to his work.
The first painting we looked at was “Cabo Girão”. He told me he went there a lot of times since childhood until now so subconsciously he has that place very impressed in his mind.
He wanted to create a contrast between the island’s red and green and the ocean’s blue, between abstract and reality through the pouring technique.
He started just with an idea about the shape and the colours to use, then just by chance pouring the green and the red on a wooden board adding the blue later to mix with them.
Cabo Girão from above Pedro Alves describing his painting
“In the Beginning” it’s a sequel of another painting, “Cosmic origin” who was sold to a client who wanted another one with the same colours.
They both come from an idea of universe, stars and chaos that is related to the philosophical writings of Alan Watts. He said that he didn’t get inspired by visual art, but from the philosophical audiobooks he listens to while he is painting, that he translates into art.
“Cosmic origin” acrylic on board “In the Beginning” 2019, 100cm Х 60 cm .SOLD
"Tropical shores” is another painting that wants to recreate the feeling of a tropical place, by mixing colours that give that sensation altogether.
Coastline in Porto Santo Island “Tropical shores” by Pedro Alves
With regards to “The Temple”, there is an experimentation he did with another technique, a minimalistic sculpture painting that comes from a vision of the door of a temple he saw in a videogame
The 3d effect is created by applying wood pieces painted with gold, one of the favourite colours used by the artist, to a red flat background.
“Ocean sound” was made thinking about putting 2 geometric white frames at the angles of the painting and creating an ocean background with blue and gold waves.
After creating it, by looking at the result he thought about the sound the ocean waves make when hitting the rocks which are represented by the white frames, so he decided to give the painting that name.
He learned to paint about 5 years ago in Manchester, even if he always liked art since he was a child.
Art is not considered as a job for him, he considers it as a hobby he does every time he is free, mostly during summer and weekends when he likes to go to in a room in the rooftop of his parents’ house and paint there.
He used painting as a therapy in the past to overcome anxiety, by expressing it through art and he is still seeing it now as a form of meditation, connecting art with eastern philosophy, in which he is very interested.
He likes to use a wood plate for pouring colours because he can create the support by himself.
He said that he switched to canvas lately because it makes paintings less heavy thus easier to be moved when they are sold and less likely to be broken, but he will use wood again in the future.
The island landscape has influenced him by impressing in his subconscious an idea of the shape and the colours he is going to paint with, but once he starts painting, he never knows what the result will be, since the pouring acrylic technique can give completely different outcomes depending on how he moves the painting around.
He only keeps some small paintings for himself, those he made when he started painting with the pouring technique for the first time that made him very proud of the result.
He said that after that he likes to give away all his painting since they express something he has inside and doesn’t want to keep for himself but share with other people making them happy and improving their life with beauty in their homes.
In the future he is planning to experiment with new subjects by introducing aquatic animals in his painting, producing new big abstract paintings and smaller versions too.
By Steven Gheno, Curatorial assistant, Italy