Dialogue 20 | Joaquim S. Marques

‘The memory, like water, is dynamic and constantly changing. My current exhibition at the Museu das Artes in Sintra (Portugal) is called “Algures, talvez….” alluding exactly to an undefined point in time and space.’

Joaquim S. Marques

Joaquim lives and works in Lisbon. He studied at the Offenbach School of Arts and Design and at the Frankfurt School of Fine Arts, where he completed his degree in Visual Arts in 1995. He was granted a scholarship by the Johannes Mosbach Foundation in 1994 and the DAAD programme in 1998. In the same year he settled in Portugal. In 2001/2002 he made an Individual Painting Project at Ar.CO, in Lisbon. Between 2013 and 2016 he carried out several artistic projects in Brazil. He was resident at MArt in Lisbon in 2017. Selected for the 12th edition of the Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Prize in 2020, Amarante. He has participated in national and international exhibitions since 1994.

Interviewer: Renata Procópio

View of the exhibition Paisagens, quero-as comigo, 2020,Casa da Cultura, Coimbra

Hello, Joaquim! Through your statement we can see that there are a lot of feelings and memories in your artworks. When did you start to transform it into art?

Actually, the process happened the other way around. After developing my technique of dragging the paint leaving it partially “blurred”, I started associating them with memories of landscapes, due to their textures. When I was a Fine Arts student I also dedicated myself to photography, besides painting. It was an experimental photography in which I used mainly the effect of intentional blurriness. This effect soon awakened my curiosity. I am interested in the relationship between what we call reality, dreams and memories. Memories tend to lose sharpness and definition as time goes by. They fade and sometimes disappear, at least from our consciousness. However, intuitive watercolor practice and the unpredictable action of water can bring those “forgotten” landscapes-memories back into our consciousness. 

A few years ago I saw a documentary about indigenous people and their relationship with water. For some tribes in South America water is the collective liquid memory that flows in the river that runs through their forest. The memory, like water, is dynamic and constantly changing. My current exhibition at the Museu das Artes in Sintra (Portugal) is called Algures, talvez…. alluding exactly to an undefined point in time and space.

Joaquim S. Marques. From the series Beyond Matter, 2018, watercolor, 50 x 70 cm

What are your sources for inspiration?

I have always been an appreciator of paintings, photography and films containing atmosphere, with an aura of mystery. Naturally I am a great admirer of Turner. 

On a daily basis I like to observe and study the sky and the sea (I think they are the best masters we can have). The Infinite and the Eternal begin there.

Joaquim S. Marques. From the series Beyond Matter, 2018, watercolor, 50 x 70 cmFrom the series Beyond Matter, 2020, watercolor, 50 x 70 cm

As big fans of the oriental art we have also realized that this is a trendy that came to stay, but isn’t an easy market to get in. This has always been a characteristic of your style or were you changing it through time?

Joaquim S. Marques. From the series Beyond Matter, 2019, watercolor, 70 x 50 cm

People often see something oriental in my painting. I have a great admiration for oriental art, but I simply lack the knowledge about it to be able to say that my work is part of that tradition. However, I believe that my work dealing with the fragility of our existence, the memories, the ephemeral, the (in)finitude has contact points with oriental art. 

My current work has been developing since 2014 when I was in Brazil and started to increase the scale of the watercolours until they allow the observer to “enter” the landscapes.

How do you relate colors to your artworks and collections?

Colour plays a fundamental role in my works, however the choice happens intuitively with few colours that blend on the wet paper.

Joaquim S. Marques. From the series Beyond Matter, 2021, watercolor, 30 x 43 cm

How does the portuguese culture influence your style?

Working with interior landscapes, I carry them with me, no matter where I go, so I don’t know if there is anything specifically Portuguese about it. 

Anything planned for your future? New mediums, art residencies, webinars that you would like to share with us?

Soon I will participate in the International Art Biennial of Gaia. In June I will be one of the resident artists at the V Contemporary Art Symposium in the city of Guarda. In September I will have two exhibitions, one at the Casa de Cultura in Ericeira and another at the Galeria de Arte do Convento do Espírito Santo in Loulé.

Wow! Good luck with all your upcoming projects! Please share social media where we can follow you! 🙂 

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