The abstract artist Adriano Ribeiro enters the spotlight to discuss his idyllic Italian studio, personality-altering creative process, and art-making music tastes. The Italian artist describes himself as “perfectly distracted.” His tactile and energetic paintings come from both the soul of an artist and the mind of a scientist.
How do you begin a piece?
I start painting two or more pieces together. No sketch, no previous ideas. I play them mostly horizontally, on a big table or on the floor. I try to keep my mind empty. If I ever have a brilliant visual idea I try to keep myself away from it; in 99% of cases it would confuse me. I attempt to keep myself unfocused and dislocated. I am a perfectly distracted person; that is the reason why I need complete solitude while working.
From biology to chemistry, there is a recurring theme of science throughout your UGallery bio. In what ways does science influence your art?
I did not finish my art school degree. I’m officially an autodidact artist. I try to explore the two disciplines: art and science. I consider art an open, conceptual container with free access, where every stupidity and every geniality could live (almost) in piece. Since my early years, I understood that I have a pretty scientific and logical brain. I also love the idea of outer space life, not necessarily intelligent forms of life. I love biomechanics, sci-fi literature, and chemical reactions. In my view, art and science are fused together as a new dimension just like space.
What is unique about your art and/or creative process?
I’m usually a funny, ironic, nice, tolerant guy. I always joke with my friends and even strangers I encounter. However my art is a serious job. It is methodical. When I’m working I’m very isolated, detached, a tedious workaholic, no jokes, no time-wasting in my studio. Despite the fact that my art needs a lot of elbow grease, I must admit I’m really boring in those moments. I would never work with a guy like that! I think my two personalities have an interesting influence on my creative process.
What is the most rewarding part about being an artist?
At this moment, all of my delight comes from the fact that I love doing this. If I could live 100% from doing my art, then it would be even greater.
What is your studio like?
My studio is big. It is far, about 5 km, from the city. It has singing birds, plentiful natural light, a quiet hill, fresh air and water. The weather is always generous here, in southern Italy. I don’t have many brushes. I work mostly with my hands and rubber gloves, spatulas, chemical reactions, collages, etc. I obtain my colors mainly from natural, organic, minerals, and dry pigments. I like to make my own materials. I like to keep an open space. So, I only the strictly necessary things are left out. Everything else must be away from my sight.
You also mention music in your bio. Is there any particular genre, artist, or song that you enjoy listening to while working?
I listen to Brazilian MPB, slow pop, the whole 80’s, soft moods, smooth jazz, classic jazz, soul, and old 40-50’s songs. And, sometimes podcasts and audiobooks help me.
What is one word to describe your art?