Photographic artist Alice Quaresma’s style is equal parts colorful and compelling. Her recent series, “Ocean Line,” which will be featured in the Hermès Spring Summer 2018 Le Monde d’Hermès magazine, features bright dashes and shapes over photographs of South American beach scenes. Alice’s work has often been described as “playful,” “transportive,” and “bold.” Her quest to bring photography beyond the frame is as apparent as ever through her recent work. We caught up with her to discuss upcoming projects, the evolution of her craft, and some of her main sources of inspiration.
ArtBinder: What are you currently working on? Any exciting opportunities on the horizon?
Alice Quaresma: I am currently working on a 3-D mural that I will be showing on my next solo project at Casa Nova Arte e Cultura Contemporânea (São Paulo, Brazil) opening on March 24th. This will be a mural in the space instead of a separate work flushed against the wall. The viewer will experience the work as they walk through the room. Since last year I became interested in expanding my photographs beyond the frame. For almost a year I have been creating wall murals with my photographs, which I overlap with materials like paper, tape and paint.
Another project I am launching in March is a collaboration I did with Hermès. For the Spring Summer 2018 collection Hermès picked my work for the L’invité Photo section on their exclusive magazine Le Monde d’Hermès available in all Hermès stores! I created the project “Ocean Line” composed by the juxtaposition of South American landscape scenery and the delicacy of gouache paint, tape and pencil. This concept was a great opportunity to unveil the soft light in the Pacific and Atlantic ocean sides of South America. I was interested in bringing femininity and fragility over the images as I used materials that created organic lines as they got absorbed by the photo paper emulsion.
AB: When did you know you wanted to be an artist? Was there a specific moment of realization?
AQ: I wanted to be an artist since I was a kid. I remember seeing the Cy Twombly painting “Quattro Stagioni” for the first time when I was 12 years old and I was taken by emotions. At that moment, I told my mother, “I am going to be an artist.” I think she thought I was joking but soon she realized I was serious and she has been my biggest supporter since the beginning.
AB: What is the process by which you create art? How do you work?
AQ: My work emerges from subjectivity, bringing improvisation and unexpected factors into my art practice. I am curious to provoke questions in the viewer, choosing to work with photographs that lack in detail. The decision to work with geometry over the photographs is crucial to break with representational aspect.
I use my life experience as an immigrant as part of my work. I have been documenting my journey over the past 15 years.
AB: What is the conceptual content for your artwork currently? How has that evolved throughout your career?
AQ: My work involves non-traditional ways to use photography. I am interested in going beyond the photo print and the frame. I use my life experience as an immigrant as part of my work. I have been documenting my journey over the past 15 years. I draw lines and forms over my photographs as a way to investigate memory. The geometry present in my work lack in detail and identity as a juxtaposition to the descriptive quality found in the image. I create impermanent conditions in my photographs as I use materials like pencil and oil pastel. These materials mutate over the years and bring different qualities to the work. My work brings experimental qualities and an open dialogue over nonlinear ideas that allow a moment of closeness between the work and the viewer.
I love the process of making. I love to experiment and I am not afraid to fail.
AB: Where do you draw inspiration from?
AQ: I draw inspiration from life experience and nature. I love to observe the ocean and simple human interaction. My work is a reaction to things I see. In terms of other artists: I am very intrigued by the Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica work and also by Fred Sandback yarn sculptures.
AB: What does your work aim to say? What will you be remembered by?
AQ: My aim is to have people remember my work for its playfulness, openness and boldness. I am constantly looking for ways to revisit an idea in ways that are not expected or to bring a different perspective of familiar places. I love the process of making. I love to experiment and I am not afraid to fail.
AB: Does technology play a role in your work? If so, how?
AQ: Yes, I tend to always look for different cameras to work with. I am now using a complete new type of camera, the name is Light, this is a new system. I like to challenge myself with my equipment as I need to learn a new way of photographing with it.