Some days are like that. We realize our talents, but we are also well aware of our limitations. We are safe and sound, but we feel trapped and paralyzed. We observe the fine details, the beauty, the harmony that surrounds us and yet, despite all the light, we are still haunted by our uncertainties, kind of a sweet surrender to our secret darkness and self-sabotaging mechanisms. It’s a battle, but it’s also a dance. Life is an ephemeral act, an overwhelming work of art that defies time. Time is perennial, while life is fragile. Art is the generous part of us that continues to sing through time, long after our voices are gone.
Self awareness and care. When you own your flaws and master your limiting beliefs, what is left within you is the power of resillience and the infinite possibilities of art.
There is a jungle of chaos, emotions and thoughts where we live in. Deep in there, in a tiny clearing, on the top of a green hill, a tall tree with wide spread roots and branches so long that almost look like pathways in the sky. On top of the tree there is a little red house, with a bell by the door and small clear windows with delicate curtains that filters the light and decorates the interior. It is cozy; it shelters the soul and allows you to rest, find your silence, be safe. The whistling sounds of the wind rustling the leaves and lazy cricket melodies are the only sounds allowed to gently disturb your rest. When it rains, the thunder clears the air and the water drops washes the dirt and the dust away, preparing all surfaces to receive the warm rays of sun again, imprinting the cyclic harmony so needed between storms and peacefulness. There we can smile and play. There, mind and body are free to be. There you can sit for hours (or even seconds), breath deeply and enjoy small moments of beauty, solitude, emptiness and happiness. In there you will find the time and space you need to clear your heart, grow stronger, healthier and get ready to endure the hardships of the jungle, of life. You will leave, but you can always go back. For you, the door remains forever unlocked.
Art IS that tree house.
Luciana Mariano, 2022 Ⓒ
Há uma selva de caos, emoções e pensamentos onde vivemos. Lá no meio, numa pequena clareira, no topo de uma colina verde, uma árvore alta com raízes largas e galhos tão longos que quase parecem caminhos no céu. No topo da árvore há uma casinha vermelha, com sino na porta e pequenas janelas transparentes com cortinas delicadas que filtram a luz e decoram o interior. É aconchegante; ela abriga a alma e permite que você descanse, encontre seu silêncio, esteja seguro. Os sons sibilantes do vento farfalhando as folhas e melodias preguiçosas de grilo são os únicos sons permitidos para perturbar suavemente o seu descanso. Quando chove, o trovão limpa o ar e as gotas de água lavam a sujeira e a poeira, preparando todas as superfícies para receberem novamente os raios quentes do sol, imprimindo a harmonia cíclica tão necessária entre tempestade e tranquilidade. Lá podemos sorrir e brincar. Lá, mente e corpo são livres para existir. Lá você pode sentar por horas (ou talvez segundos), respirar fundo e desfrutar de pequenos momentos de beleza, solidão, vazio e felicidade. Lá você encontrará o tempo e o espaço necessários para limpar seu coração, ficar mais forte, mais saudável e se preparar para endurecer diante das dificuldades da selva, da vida. Você vai embora, mas sempre pode voltar. Para você, a porta permanece para sempre destrancada.
This painting is the final result of a week in happiness.
I was invited to an Artistic Residency at Lysice Castle in the Czech Republic. One whole week of painting, interacting with my peers, being allowed to exercise my art while thriving in a beautiful environment, full of history, love and magic.
In the first day I sat there surrounded by amazing talented artists, feeling shy and insecure, over excited and having no idea about what to paint. My creative process usually goes like this: I have many paintings inside of me but I need to quiet my mind before they start pouring out. It was a little intimidating at first because I have been a fan of many of the colleagues that where there, for years. And the artist impostor syndrome inside of me said… ”No matter what you paint, it will never be as good as their work”. Insecurity and cruel hidden monsters under our beds are a sad pattern in the life for many, me included. But luckily I allowed myself to just do what I have been doing for the past 45 years… just play. Art is not about being anything, it’s about making and enjoying it.
Art is indeed bedded in the painters soul. It runs through my veins as it did for my ancestors, so I should not be afraid of stating out my truth, whatever it is. Just enjoying by doing it. It was not a competition, it was rather a beautiful opportunity to create something simple, having fun without any pretensions. My colleagues showed me the way and their presente became my inspiration.
I started 3 paintings out of immaculate blank canvasses, in this beautiful place, surrounded by loving, talented friends. It felt incredible. The kind of happiness that we only hear in the end of fairytales. There was music, laughter, good food, peacefulness to paint, perfect days which should be the creative nectar for any living artist… And I was there, fully present, living this experience.
The paintings were flowing quite instinctively and I was having blessed fun. When I first realized what I was painting it was too late for changing it. Cats and lovers??? How kinky is that?! Why am I painting such a silly, kinky little story? It was my first time in the Czech Republic and I had no idea if the subject was at all accepted, it they were too uptight to understand the fun and joke behind such a theme. I started panicking a little… will this be too weird? Then I asked my friends and specially one of my favorite artists ever, Czech painter Jiří Vidlák (check his amazing work!) and he comforted me: “You are in one of the freest countries you could ever be, no worries about it!” And then I knew that it was not a shocker and my free creation was in good, safe hands.
In fact , when I finished, it was the chosen work to be donated to the Castle’s collection, proving his point that in there art is respected as an instrument of free speech, expression and creativity. In the end I realized that that piece had nothing to do with kinky, but plenty of woman empowerment and right of choice. Plenty of pleasure and fun without the guilt of disapproval. Cats and lovers is the symbol of believing in the power of doing anything that grows naturally in you instead of denying your inner calls. Art is just like that. If you do it for pleasing others you will end up pleasing no one.
Stick to your truth. Have fun with it. Be considerate to others. Be kind. Give less importance to ego and more power to collectiveness. Create freely. Believe in free narratives. Allow things not to be perfect…and you will find perfection of the wholeness. We are all broken pieces of a bigger broken plan that succeeded. In this magical adventure I understood that reality is indeed surreal. Love is everywhere when you ignore the fears, overbearing ego, need for approval and attention. Art is freedom.
Thank you Lysice for this beautiful opportunity. All the parts involved, you were essencial for the perfection of these days. Děkuji Zámek Lysice, Martina Rudolfová, Vladimír Jandasek, Ladislav Pukl, Zvonko Eder for the invitation, reception and impeccable experience. Thank you for all the kind people in the Castle and Hotel that made our days so special and easy. Thank you for my fellow colleagues that granted us all with such a beautiful creative week: Adzana Modlitbova, Alexandra Detinská, Alexia Molino, Dáša Vávrová, Dusan Chaloupka (and his lovely wife), Jiří Vidlák, Kikka Nyrén, Marion Alexandre, Minna Lehväslaiho, Rado Jarábek, Varsha Rajput and Zuza Novotná. You are all my shining stars 🌟 ⭐️ 💫
We are moved by our passions. But we must make sure our passions also hold some humanistic, altruistic values, otherwise it’s all about our egoic instincts. Building ourselves requires a myriad of chemicals, combined in such a way that we become the best version of what this existence allows us to be. We are a rare combination of beauty and disgrace, knowledge and despise, kindness and monstersities. And we have to struggle to accept the ugly and let prevail the good in us. We disguise well and most times not. We are demonic angels of ourselves and what we give to the world is never enough, compared with what we get. There is no balance… and yet, that´s all we need.
24.03.1971, em meio a ditadura militar, no chuvoso outono paulistano, entre a Aclimação e Liberdade, eu estreava. Nunca foi facil viver, apesar de, na minha pele, nada ser tão difícil assim. Existir é resistir. É contrariar estatísticas, expectativas, leis da física. 51 anos depois, hoje estou do outro lado do planeta, fazendo o que quero, perto de quem gosto. Ano passado, meio século, a pandemia não me deixou comemorar. Esse ano, meio século mais um, o vírus, a crise, a guerra, a neve, o preço da gasolina, a distância do filho, qualquer coisa, me previne de comemorar. Não há o que comemorar, nunca houve. O tempo é um fenômeno natural usado pelo capitalismo para vender bugigangas e enriquecer poucos míseros bolsos. 24.03.2021 e 51 anos de ego sendo domesticado para existir e muitos outros virão para me ensinar a desistir. As festas haverão de acontecer, antes e depois de todos e tudo. Haveremos de comemorar, num dia especial, a humanidade que se preocupa de fato com o próximo que sofre a fome, o racismo, o frio, a solidão, o desespero. Meu desejo por presente é só um: O eco-socialismo com pessoas mais conscientes, menos idiotia, ignorância, violência, ganância, indigência intelectual e humanitária. Só isso.
This painting is a triptyc. That means that it is made by 3 different paintings, composing one story or image. They work independently but makes more sense together. If you see only each isolated image, different narratives are possible. Is the girl alone in the room? Is the dining room empty? is the woman sad and lonely? But together it is possible to contextualize and create a whole new story and better understand the dynamics of each character and unfold a wider narrative.
I suggest us to consider that life itself is a multiplicity of triptychs. Many, many stories composing a wider narrative of events. What story interests us most? Who tells the facts? What facts are predominant, defended, relevant, true? Everything matters and all sides have their own version of the facts, os the truth. Wars are not disconnected from this perception. Racism either. Is it terrorism or defense? Is it violence ou reaction? All stories have a context, a beginning, a perspective and many sides, many factual or possible narratives.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, justifies violence, war, racism. And yet, it is more present than ever.
It is very frustrating to see what’s happening in the world. Makes me angry, upset, sad, depressed to see the insane orchestra of media and nations blinding and deafening the masses. We are all puppets being played by the same old crows. We are supporting one cause and helping to massacre others. But here is the plot twist: we are only seeing one picture. Some people are defending one painting and not seeing the other paintings. Some people are raging against one image and ignoring the rest of the images that compose the whole picture. Some didn’t even see a single painting, they are just trusting blindly someone that told the story about the one painting that interests them most.
How far will this insanity last? How long will humanity insist on pointing its guns on themselves and ignoring the bigger picture?
If art can’t make you see, nothing can.
Esta pintura é um tríptico. Isso significa que é feito por 3 pinturas diferentes, compondo uma história ou imagem. Eles trabalham de forma independente, mas fazem mais sentido juntos. Se você vir apenas cada imagem isolada, diferentes narrativas são possíveis. A menina está sozinha no quarto? A sala de jantar está vazia? a mulher está triste e solitária? Mas juntos é possível contextualizar e criar uma história totalmente nova e entender melhor a dinâmica de cada personagem e desdobrar uma narrativa mais ampla.
Sugiro que consideremos que a própria vida é uma multiplicidade de trípticos. Muitas, muitas histórias compondo uma narrativa mais ampla de eventos. Qual história mais nos interessa? Quem conta os fatos? Que fatos são predominantes, defendidos, relevantes, verdadeiros? Tudo importa e todos os lados têm sua própria versão dos fatos, a verdade. As guerras não estão desconectadas dessa percepção. O racismo também. É terrorismo ou defesa? É violência ou reação? Todas as histórias têm um contexto, um começo, uma perspectiva e muitos lados, muitas narrativas factuais ou possíveis.
Nada, e quero dizer NADA, justifica a violência, a guerra, o racismo. E, no entanto, está mais presente do que nunca.
É muito frustrante ver o que está acontecendo no mundo. Me deixa com raiva, chateado, triste, deprimido ao ver a orquestra insana da mídia e das nações cegando e ensurdecendo as massas. Somos todos fantoches sendo tocados pelos mesmos corvos. Estamos apoiando uma causa e ajudando a massacrar outras. Mas aqui está a reviravolta na história: estamos vendo apenas uma foto. Algumas pessoas estão defendendo uma pintura e não vendo as outras pinturas. Algumas pessoas estão se enfurecendo contra uma imagem e ignorando o resto das imagens que compõem a imagem inteira. Alguns nem viram uma única pintura, estão apenas confiando cegamente em alguém que contou a história da pintura que mais lhes interessa.
Até onde vai durar essa loucura? Até quando a humanidade insistirá em apontar suas armas para si mesma e ignorar o quadro maior?
This work is called ”Together we can reach the stars”. It is about the wishful thinking of a society where people, helping each other, could reach higher goals for humanity. It is about, hand by hand, making something better which everyone could benefit from. Not a polarized world of opposites, but a world where everyone counts and matters, above profit and interests.
The world is killing itself based on division. There is not them and us, its all we. Greed, territorialism and insanity is rulling and everyone is loosing. There are wars everywhere, at this very moment, but some wars attain out mercy, while others are completely ignored. Why? Is it because one could kill you and the other presents no risk to you? If that is the case, I bring sad news: you are already dead inside.
The world, from this naive artist’s perspective, looks like this: The planet is a big beautiful school and some kids are not allowed to learn, play and eat there. Other kids are grounded during recession but they didn’t do any wrong. Some kids are overfed, overdressed, over indulged and even given free grades and stars, while others are starving, cold, being bullied and punished without any reason. Some kids are better than others because of their surnames, skin color, the amount of money their parents hold in their bank accounts. Would you like your kid to attend that school? Would he be bullying or bullied?
Stop allowing the bullies to decide who thrives and who perishes.
If you can’t see the whole picture, or if you cant see both sides, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Together we can reach the stars, but against each other we are doomed, collectively, to fail.