Updated: Mar 13
Today we interviewed Marcos Milewski one of the most established artists of Madeira island. Perhaps you know him better as the artist who painted a giant blue whale on one of walls (murals) in Funchal.
How and when did your painting story start?
"It’s always been my reality, I’ve painted since I was a child – I had an aunt from Poland who came and taught me to paint watercolors when I was 8 years old. Then, when I was 13, I met a painter who became my painting master, who is now called Sovieta, which still today I keep in touch with and have a friendship, over the internet. I am from Argentina, so it was in my hometown - Cordoba, and that's it, it was in this environment that my desire to paint began and I started to learn the techniques"
In Funchal, we can see lot of murals "made by you". Do you remember how many you have? Actually, your name is the first one to come to mind when we talk about urban street art on Madeira island, or trying to find a visual artist in Madeira.
"Yes - some in the city, others in hotels, restaurants, as you are saying, and also, in certain cases, in a place there is not only one mural, there’s a series - they appear. I made the buses at the company Rodoeste - we painted some old buses - there are several, so there are several murals in one place"
An interesting task to find all the walls of Marcos on Madeira island,would you like to try?
Where do you find your inspiration, and where do you prefer to paint?
"I think it's very relative, I get inspired by life, in my sleep, and also from the place around the murals, the place where it's going to be painted is very important - what looks good on a specific wall will be very different on another.
Thinking about the whale, it had a lot to do with the cars that come from a tunnel, that can see that perspective, the size of the wall, the location of the city is also close to the sea - 1km or so - I think there are always several factors that condition in the case of the mural. In the case of paintings, it’s like this ... the human element, female, but it is ... I don't think much about these matters"
Some of these pictures you can find in the gallery of Art Center Caravel
Why did you chose Madeira to work and to live in? And you have become one of the most famous local artists, an important part of art community of Madeira island. You are even known for The painted doors project on Santa Maria street in downtown of Funchal, or Zona Velha how we call it here.
"Life encounters are what got us here. I was living in France, in Paris, and met Celina, my wife, who is from Madeira, so we came here, we stayed and that’s it. We didn’t give it much thought and now 30 years have already passed"
Is there young artists in Madeira that you know and you think will become as successful as you?
"I have no perception of that ... I just paint and that’s it ... if that has an impact on others it is something that kind of escapes me"
And lastly, , what would you recommend to the young artists?
"Several things ... if you like to dedicate yourself with your heart for a long time, it takes a lot of effort. I think that’s part of the reason for wanting to do this, it’s the main thing. It's like everything, we have to really like it ... and then,
Secondly, having good tools, that and technique.
And thirdly,you need: to study a lot of art history and also of what is being done in contemporary art – in both - what was done centuries ago, what is being done now - because it gives a perception of what art is, many people are in the their corner, painting their little painting, but they don’t see - what they’re doing - in relation to everything else ... for example, if we do a painting and it has a connection with… I don’t know… with [Pablo] Picasso, with [Salvador] Dalí, with [René] Magritte, this type of chain of connections is very important to grow. If we have a connection with Magritte, for example, but we don't know who Magritte is because we’ve never studied him, it is an impoverishment ... so, studying a lot in terms of technique but also in terms of concept, art history and what’s happening now in art - what is happening in the world now and what happened centuries ago. Our mind opens"