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Lisboa, 1953

Pedro Calapez (b. 1953) on being an artist:

"Art is something that may bring you strange doubts. you have doubts about what it is; you might not even know what it is. in reality, anything can be art: it depends on our attitude towards certain objects or doing certain things. i think it is necessary to have a special talent, not in the sense of something that only a few possess but something that could be awake in each one of us and that begins with the realization that we have capacities that allow us to feel and understand, on different levels, the small things we do or see and that are all around us.

My work neither explains nor solves society’s needs and problems. visual force is very important in my painting and through drawing and painting, the aim is to take something from what surrounds us for ourselves. but this appropriation of the other, of that which is outside us, is a capacity we all have. we just have to put it into action. we don’t need to be painters or writers. it’s just a question of talking, talking to each other. this is the talent that awakens our capacity not to remain secluded from the world around us.

I make paintings, objects. i make them firstly for me. i make them because i like to. i make them because i want to reveal the small things i observe. i get enthusiastic about the small things i see in nature or about a drop of paint falling on a piece of paper. the most important thing is the possibility of doing what i like, having the possibility of looking at and understanding my relationship with myself and others."

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