Ale: from designer to artist

Brazilian designer and contemporary artist Ale uses his eyes to listen to the world around him in order to pick up relevant fragments. It can be something a friend said to him, a rock in the street, a commercial… for him it’s all about being present in a specific place at a specific moment.

16 years in design left Ale feeling something was missing. When he was a student he had learnt a lot about art history, color theory, cinema, history of painting, etc. as part of the design program. That was where he discovered emblematic artists (such as Matisse) and the “concept of creating something”. He said learning all those things about art really was the trigger which made him want to become an artist. In 2020, he decided to dedicate more time to creating art. That was just before the pandemic, and the quarantine solidified the decision. In 2023 he quit his job as a designer.

Ale paints

When he decided to become a painter, he went to the Escola de Artes Visuais Do Parque Lage in Rio (2022-2023) to master acrylic painting. He also took advantage of those two years to really experiment and he quickly found his visual identity. Ale’s paintings are made of shapes, forms and flat tint colors which interact to each other. As a former graphic designer, he has really mastered his skills in visual communication. But he’s still constantly making an effort to be better at it. Inspired by the Bauhaus school, he’s trying to be as minimalist as possible to present his message.

images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by artist

His process is pretty simple. He’s comfortable with the computer, so he creates a series of visuals on a design software, where he tries many different shapes and colors. When he’s satisfied with one, he decides to paint it on a canvas. That’s also his path as an artist: going from computer to paintbrush, from design to art.

Fragments tell it all

Ale’s works are representations of fragments of life in a very expressive way. More precisely, it’s a retranscription of moods, memories, dreams, feelings… For example, when I interviewed him, he was working on a painting about a childhood friend. He doesn’t really see this friend anymore, but they used to be really close. He is referencing a really personal memory, but uses it to show a feeling that we’ve all experienced once in our life.

When experiencing personal changes recently, Ale realized he needed to pay more attention to his feelings, and painting was the perfect medium to express those emotions. He started to give much more importance to what was happening in the moment. Ale is deeply convinced that we are shaped by what we have lived in the past, and thinks the past, the present and the future are always connected.

Ale past, present, future

You may live something unpleasant in the present which makes you think about something that happened in the past, or which you would like to change in the future. As human beings, we all go through different things and experiences: sometimes bad, sometimes good. Ale uses those moments as material for his paintings.

Being here, at PILOTENKUECHE in Lepzig, is a brand new experience for Ale. He realized he can make his paintings evolve in some way and make the most of this 3 month residency to explore as much as possible and break free of his patterns. For example, whereas his previous works were fragments of the past, he is working in response to the environment he now finds himself in. 

Written by Jonas Lamoliatte

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