Portrait of an Artist: Andrea Pinheiro

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      Photographs Andrea Pinheiro snapped during a 2005 visit to the small Safn art gallery in Iceland are a key part of her upcoming exhibit at Republic Gallery [732 Richards Street]. The works in the Safn series, on display February 10 to March 10, include prints of gouache painting over photographs, and sculptures.

      The Straight reached Pinheiro by phone to talk about the exhibit.

      Why did you take photos of the Safn gallery?

      Just as sort of note taking for myself. I had no sort of preconception of having any plans for anything to do with them. Often you can tell that in the photographs. The compositions, they’re kind of hasty. It’s just a quick photograph to make a note of the work and the artist for myself.

      Why did you use the photos in your works?

      I had them around the studio for years, pretty much for five years before I did anything with them. I looked at them on a fairly regular basis and then just started painting over top of them without any real plans in mind…. Some of them actually were palettes or I’d use them just to put paint on while I was working on something else. After having those little scraps laying around the studio I took them and scanned them. And then something sort of strange happens in the scanning process where things don’t look quite like the photograph or the little painted object but take on a whole different sort of sense, especially when the scale is blown up quite large.

      What interested you in this medium?

      Pretty much my whole time in school I had been trying to figure out ways of bringing together photography and hand-generated marks—so painting or drawing or scratching into film. In part this was sort of a much simpler solution rather than doing multiple types of etching and lithography and photo-based printmaking together.

      What do you hope people take away from the exhibit?

      Partly it’s the feeling that photography in itself has a difficulty in capturing the entirety of an experience…. I guess wanting the paint to sort of allude to some sort of emotional or existential experience beyond the photographable.

      Portrait of an Artist is an ongoing feature on Straight.com that profiles local visual artists. Suggest an artist to profile in the comments section below or by sending a message via Twitter to twitter.com/thomsonstraight.