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Samuel Santos from abstract to... realism or how to be a young artist in Portugal.

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

If you are looking for an interesting artist on Madeira island, you will definitely not pass by the international Art Center Caravel in downtown of Funchal, where you will find many interesting Portuguese and international artists and, without question, you will not miss the extraordinary paintings modestly signed by Samuel Santos, a Portuguese visual artist.

at artist´s studio

«One day a nice shy young man came to Art Center Caravel contemporary art gallery in Funchal (Madeira island) and showed his art works. For Samuel Santos it was a rather difficult step, which is natural for any young artist who presents his works to a gallery for the first time. For me, as an art director, this was also kind of a test. This is always a difficult moment, to understand only from a photograph, the creativity and hard work of an artist.

"Samuel was unique from the very beginning. His appearance in the gallery was always accompanied by a scent of fresh oil and complex ideas in his drawings», Svetlana Azernikova art director of Art Center Caravel, contemporary Portuguese art gallery on Madeira island.

DREAMSCAPE IV (Profound).Oil on canvas 2019 Size:50х50cm

You have changed your style several times, at least since the moment I know you. Portuguese way of Abstract art, surrealism, realism and the newest collection of Tonalism Impressionism.

Tell as a story how to be an artist if you were born in a remote place, such as a small Portuguese town ?

Samuel:"I lived in a small village, in the North of Portugal, and there wasn't much going on in terms of art and such ... When I moved to Madeira island as an artist it was good, it was great, it was different, there were more things to do, more people interested in my work … it was great"

Exhibition at Art Center Caravel, Madeira

You're talking about moving to Madeira, where you quickly become a significant part of the local art community.

Samuel: "Yes, I came with my girlfriend, to live here for 3 years, this was the initial plan. We are already on the second year so there is a year left, and I still don't know what are our plans. I have some projects in mind, some new exhibitions, collaboration with local Town Hall (Câmara Municipal do Funchal ) and such ... let’s see what comes up"

STIKKONTAKT I HVILE (AFTER VILHELM HAMMERSØI) , oil on canvas board 43.5x35.5cm, 2020


THY NAME WAS WRIT ON WATER (AFTER REMBRANDT,1652), oil on board  52x44cm , 2020
THY NAME WAS WRIT ON WATER (AFTER REMBRANDT,1652), oil on board 52x44cm , 2020


Samuel: "Some of the artists that inspire me are obviously [Diego] Velázquez, the great classics above all: 17th century, Rembrandt, [Johannes] Vermeer, all these ... also the 19th century too, because I think it was the best time, in terms of painting. Impressionist artists also interest me a lot like [Antonio] Mancini, [Joaquin] Sorolla ... all of them."

Artist during the opening of a solo exhibition at Art Center Caravel

Samuel Santos has participated in several painting exhibitions on Madeira island. He was and always will be an important part of the project "islands” an annual Art Show held by Art Center Caravel. His participation in the exhibition “Means and meaning” together with other Madeira artists was featured in the media and received strong public attention

“I hope that the at one day he will emerge as an important artist, in a country where the culture is no longer diminished, and until then, he continues to look for that opportunity”.

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