Inside the Studio

Lia Porto

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
My work is not oriented to deal with specific themes. In a way, the main theme is the construction of a language and its permanent exploration. Painting becomes an open space, where images can manifest from the inside out. I always want to enter this space, to know more, to let things happen, and it’s the painting and its dynamism that shows me and directs me. It is more the idea of opening a door, inviting images to come, than the idea of someone trying to say something in a certain way.

This is why I say my language is organic. The development of the painting and each picture functions like a universe in itself, with many elements -organic elements- coexisting together. The whole movement of painting is a movement of making these elements appear, in a constant search for balance, tension, and equilibrium.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To explore and use resources in a deep and extreme way. These resources are all the elements involved in the painting, which can apply to scale, color, to a particular way of application, as well as to the imagery. All of these elements are always interacting and working together.

In my recent series I am working with this concept of abundance. When I create patterns, or branches, or dots, then, I create even more, until the possibility to continue with this action is exhausted.  Then, the point is to maintain a sense of balance within the composition.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
It depends. I enjoy silence a lot. But sometimes though, I feel like I need music. And in these cases I usually work while listening to the same album over and over again, like a mantra. This loop becomes a kind of silence in itself.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
“O magico,” by Beatriz Milhazes.

Who are your favorite writers?
Di Benedeto, Borges, Pizzarnik, Saer, Juan L. Ortiz, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Beckett, and Cheever. I used to read a lot of fiction and poetry. Now, I’m interested in writings on meditation and spirituality, such as the writings of Trungpa and Krishnamurti.