There's a brazilian song I really love, by Paulinho da Viola, that says: 'it's not me who navigates my boat, it's the sea who navigates me' . Which makes me wonder, if we can't control our lives, our surroundings, the best we can do is to try to understand it. I once read about the ancient polynesian sailors, how they managed to cross the Pacific ocean with very simple boats, because they knew how to read water. They could understand the currents and clouds so well that the sea became pathways for them instead of obstacles. They knew when a storm would come and where to go much sooner than everyone else. They knew how to ride the waves once the storm arrived. Can we combine that sort of knowledge with the skill of improving our boats by recognizing patterns in our environment and learning how to apply such patterns in inventive practical ways?
These ideas guide me. My personal way of doing my best to understand the sea in which I live is by trying to understand history, how things came to be. That's something I learned with my parents, for which I'm deeply grateful. History is made of an infinite amount of intertwined stories. We all create stories, our stories are all messed up together, there are many different subjects and focus for making stories. The stories from people I tend to disagree with are also relevant stories. Stories have long served as a great way of creating long term memories, at best we become a good story after we're gone.
I learned to love drawing with my grandmother, learning to draw side by side with my sister. I guess that's why collaborating in art projects feels like a natural thing to do. After my sister's sudden death at age 27, I realized how inherently collective humans are. We think through languages that carry the history of thousands generations, every concept and logical structure has been crafted over centuries. When we love we become structural parts of each other.
So I decided to dedicate my life to telling stories through images. One story leads to another and I'm fascinated with narratives that are capable of crossing the seas. From pattern recognition as one of the most basic tools of cognition, to worldwide traditions of pattern design, ethnomathematics, history of painting and history of representation (which merges painting, photograph, chemistry, physics and a lot of mathematics), computer vision, history of the materials I use to paint, to the story of one specific space I'm working on and the people who live there. Murals, videos, illustrated books, canvas paintings, installations, ceramics, whatever is the technique that suits the story I want to tell.
I think our past stories can help us come up with ideas of how we would like our future stories to be. Being amused by the stories we tell makes the day by day a little bit more enjoyable, while we try to do whatever we believe it's worth our time.