Márcia Britto (b.1962, Brazil)
IN SEARCH OF DEEPER MEANING
Marcia Britto was born in Brazil, where life is lived large... where emotions run free - like great, sweeping swathes of colour on a canvas. Like the intoxicating throb of the Samba beat ... the uninhibited revelry of Carnaval. But Marcia isn't like that. Her passions burn with a quiet, controlled, internalized intensity.
You see, Marcia was just six years old when her father died. An event that, of course, left a void in her life. But the little girl learned to fill that void with the tender love for birds and animals and plants which she shared with her grandfather, escaping from starched city life on frequent visits to the sprawling countryside of the province of Minas Gerais.
Marcia spent her childhood searching. When not seeking knowledge at school, she searched the forests and foothills, the wild places, for nature's treasures. She had an eye, even as a child, for objects that resonated with her spirit. Stones and bones, feathers, leaves, dried flowers and ferns were carried home and worked into boxed arrangements. Even seashells were wittily surmounted by miniature figures of sunbathers.
Later in life, Marcia wrote, "I find forms, textures and colours, as a poet finds words". This love of form, texture and colour led Marcia to study Visual Communication at university in Brazil, launched her career in advertising, animation and design, and later earned her a Bachelor of Fine Art and Design degree in Sweden. She also became a keen photographer. But as times changed, the ever-increasing technical intrusion of computers proved too abrasive for Marcia's fine sensibilities. So she forsook the commercial field and immersed herself only in fine art. For that, we should be grateful .
Marcia is often depicted holding a camera. That's because the camera symbolizes a way of seeing. You see, Marcia believes that our way of seeing, influences our way of being. Movingly, she once wrote, "My eyes look at you with expectation and curiosity". That reveals an almost childlike purity of spirit, a challenging trust, and an open, enquiring mind. "My eyes look at you with expectation and curiosity". Painterly poetry that leads to some thoughts about Marcia's two signature themes - Expressions. And Angels.
It's been said that no work of art is complete without three essential components: 1) The artist's concept. 2) The work of art itself. 3) An audience. So it's thought-provoking to entertain the whimsical notion that when you view any of Marcia's Expressions, you are not just looking at the sculpture or picture; it is also looking at you. Yes... looking at you looking at it - and so on. Never- ending new views, each of which completes the magic circle.
Two of Marcia's Expressions, sculpted in dark-grey stone, are not just very rare. They are unique. These two imposing works are the last of their kind that will ever be made. They are expressions of Marcia's determination to create sculptures in the hardest stone on earth - the renowned, highly prized Diabas... solidified lava from a Swedish volcano. It is virtually indestructable.
In diametrically opposite vein are the works comprising Marcia's other signature theme...
The glowing glass sculptures and vibrant paintings, incorporating real gold, are not just enchantingly beautiful; they're also deep expressions of the artist's pure, spiritual vision. Touchingly, and memorably, Marcia says, "I have no offspring. But each of my Angels is like one of my children, who is going to live in somebody else's home - and protect them."
As well as Marcia's internationally-celebrated Expressions and Angels, she has now embarked on bold developments, fresh subjects and new techniques that have sprung into being, inspired by Gozo, the tiny, tranquil island in the heart of the Mediterranean, to which she moved in 2011. Marcia Britto has never stopped searching.
Márcia Britto (b.1962, Brazil)
Márcia Britto has a vast repertoire from working with visual means of expressions. When still very young she participated in a children's programme about art and design on Brazilian TV. Her studies specialising in Visual Communication at Universidade do Estado de Minas Gerais, led to the title Bacharel in Fine Art and Design in Sweden. After her studies she worked in advertising, animation and design in her native Brazil. Marcia's capabilities with images led to photography projects in the USA. In the 1990's whilst an active artist, she ran an artist group with several established artists in her atelier in Brazil. At the beginning of 2003 Marcia Britto moved to Sweden, obtained Swedish nationality and worked there for a few years. Then, from 2008 to 2010 she lived and worked in Switzerland and is now based in the Maltese islands, while continuing to exhibit internationally.
Early on in her artistic career and through the studies of life models and portraiture, her thoughts in simplification started. In this economy of line there were countless possibilities and the fundamental idea for the subject of Expressions was born. The face is the starting point in this theme of elementary features that are performed in various media such as etching, glass, stone and paintings with black ink on varieties of paper, sometimes hand-made by the artist herself.
In Expressions Márcia Britto works in a vigilant way to capture the essential in context. Balance, rhythm and well-judged proportions interact with the overall impression. The art works are bare and simplified. It is not the powerful and loud expression that the attention is aimed at but rather the subtle expression from the face that captures the sensibility with brush and ink. The observer encounters introvert, expectant and calm faces or faces with secretive smiles. The effect is great but with significantly gentle differences in their expression.
The pictures show as much sensibility as certainty. In this art there appears a plain ambition together with elegance and immediacy. It is the faces that fascinate in their simplicity. In some work there appears a red drop of glass which might bring love or blood to mind, but it actually associates beyond pain as an inspiration and force for creative expression. In Márcia Britto's work, sensibility and distinction come together in a focused hand with innovative brush work.
Inspired by her spiritual roots Márcia Britto began work on a new theme - Angels - where realms of gold, heaven and earth find their natural existence. Also here the artist works with simplified styles of design and small gestures that create great effect. In this glass universe, heaven and the underworld unite. The blue pigment leads the eye into eternal space and in the next second brings it back to earth. The red and brown pigment frames, encloses and protects. The Angels are made of gold. The material is loaded with associations where power, fortune and violence come together. These Angels, however disarm and convey a message of calmness and harmony. Here gold stands for shimmering divinity and purity. The glass object and the paintings create a tension where the angels are close but at the same time unreachable. In the paintings they are more tangible and physical. Body and soul unite.
* adapted by Catherine Sinclair Galea
from observations by Swedish Art Critic Simon Berg