Born in 1993 in Lisbon, Portugal, Ana Maria Paixão studies in New York. Before she starts her final semester at School of Visual Arts, she is enjoying the sun and the sea at home while making work. Drawing and painting since early age, her work carries the light of Lisbon and the energy of New York. So far, her work can only be found at her studio/bedroom with the exception of a few pieces a couple of brave and adventurous people possess.
“The waves ate my homework”: When I came back to Lisbon, a month ago, I was thinking about my work and its future and I realized I could compare it to making a sandcastle and seeing it being destroyed by a wave just as it’s finished. This is really funny to me because of how pretentiously philosophical it can be, how I kind of forced this idea of feeling existential because I AM AN ARTIST. So I took the pictures of recent work and depicted it as literally being eaten by waves. Also I’m very interested in the awkward crafty careless digital aesthetic as it can be seen as a choice or as a lack of computer skills.
An Interview with Ana Maria Paixão
What are you interested in investigating in your work?
Lately I’ve been really interested in investigating the purpose of my work and images; how they relate to me and other people and the need and reason that drive me to make them. Also in the narratives and characters, colors and spaces – their relationship and progression in time and space.
You live in New York. Does the city inspire your work?
I’ve been living and studying in New York for more than 3 years. It has taught me an interesting way of pacing my work and life where there’s energy and things happen fast but then I get stuck in the train for two hours, and still need (or not) to take something out of it – rethinking time and waste.
What does it feel like when you are working?
It feels like eating a slice of chocolate cake with cream and caramel that is just a little bit too big – I want to enjoy it and finish it, taking something good out of it, but it can get a bit painful and hard to do so. In the end I’m happy or nauseous.
Describe your relationship with your work.
It feels silly to say this but it’s very personal. At least 10 people (I think it’s enough to count as fair proof of it) have told me that I look like my work, and I also wear things I’ve made so I think I’m almost as close to my work as I can be. Also my approach to it is very intuitive which brings out the most of me. However, sometimes, I’m not as close to the pictures and final ‘product’ I make as I am to the process and ideas.
When did you begin drawing/ painting and why?
I started when I was about two years old, I would say, and I haven’t stopped. I can’t remember of a time when I thought “Well, now it is the real deal.”, so I can’t say that what I do now is not just a progression from what I did before. Of course I’m more aware of everything now which could mean a different path, but the initiative is still the same, I think.