people of Faro

Luís Marques

Fevereiro 9, 2023
Young artist Luís Marques illustrates in his art the connection between humankind and nature. Inspired by contemporary art, Luís can transform the seen into abstract shapes and lines without losing his concept and the message he wants to convey. Walking through life with eyes opened, the artist looks forward to what he can put on canvas next.


You’re an artist!

Yeah. Maybe. No, I try.

Why “maybe“?

I think it’s kind of difficult for me to describe me as an artist, because I do for example paintings or sculptures but for other people, this could not be art. So you are the person who says whether I am an artist or not.

What do you think makes an artist an artist?

Starting from the beginning, we have to ask ourselves: What is art? What is an art piece? And then what is an artist? I don’t know if an artist needs to make money with art or do exhibits to earn this title, but I think if I do a painting and don’t show it to anybody it isn’t art for me. It’s just a painting.

So if you do your art and don’t show it anyone, it’s not art.

Philosophically speaking, it’s not art. A painting or a video whatever could be art for sure, but I think you need to show it to someone. Art is communication.

Have you dreamed as a child to become an artist?

I drew as a kid all the time. But no, I didn’t dream to be an artist. Maybe as a teenager at the age of 15 or 16 but not as a little kid.

Do you remember the first art piece you have actively seen and which affected you in some way?

I don’t remember the first one for sure. But I started to visit some galleries in Faro at the age of 15 or 16. And I started to look at Contemporary Arts and realized that I liked this and that it was something I maybe liked to do by myself.

Then you start studying visual arts here in Faro.

Yeah, I went to an art high school and after that, I made my bachelor’s in the University of Algarve in Faro. It’s not directly an art school, but it’s more a course in contemporary arts. Unfortunately, we don’t have a school with art, design, dance, and theater.

How was it to learn more in this field?

Very, very good. I hadn’t had any artistic friends before I entered the university. My contact with art was limited to going to galleries or museums. After I started to study there, there were new people around me, who started to ask questions like: What is art? What is an artist? And that started to blow my mind. I started to think of art more as a job and took it more seriously and only as a drawing or painting.

How did you see your work change

In my last year of university, I started to think more seriously about what I wanted to communicate using my art and where I am: Who and what is around me? I started to focus on the Algarve territory. I started to paint randomly and abstractly but I also started to have a concept and meaning behind it. And I also started to see other galleries in Lisbon and how young artists tried to do things.

“Art is communication“

In your paintings, you portray the connection between nature and human. How would you describe this connection?

I was born here in Faro, and I’m from this middle size city, but I like to go to nature and see the difference. To see how the people work there. I like how we humans try to interact with nature in our way. In nature, animals, trees, everything is not regular or symmetric. We, humans, try to put our way of thinking on it like: “This space is mine, so I will try to establish a construction so that everybody can see that“. I can’t say if this is good or bad but I think it’s interesting and it inspires me.

How do you process what you saw in what you do?

My biggest aesthetic inspiration is contemporary art. I somehow try to reproduce the contemporary art which exists since the second half of the 20th century in my paintings. But my inspiration is also nature. I try to use organic materials like coal. I’m not good at drawing, so if I want to draw a tree, I won’t draw it perfectly. I rather try to think about my reference to modern and contemporary arts and try to mix it with what I have seen.

If you change perspective now: How does nature perceive us humans?

I think we are animals but we try to build things. We try to change nature to comfort us. Other animals don’t do it. So I think nature could look at us like a strange animal who tries to live and destroy at the same time.

The motive of ruin can be found multiple times in your art.

I look at Faro’s castle wall. That wall has survived hundreds of years and it still is there. It’s a construction that humans did and it still is there. It’s the same for me if I see destroyed houses: it feels like time travel. I like to see how humans think and feel about the constructions of the pastime.

Cities are always changing: There are demolitions, renovations, and new buildings. Wouldn’t it be nicer if cities were more permanent?

Sometimes I think yes, but we can’t ignore the technology and everything new that is coming. I think cities must change, but the majority of the time, I think that they build it the worst. They construct small buildings on the side of small houses and I think it doesn’t make sense.

“We try to change nature to comfort us“

If you could design your perfect city, how would it look like?

Probably it would not have huge buildings. I think it would be a big city with small houses. Each family should have their own space. Inside and outside. Maybe with no huge buildings and no cars. Only horses (laughs).

You don’t use a lot of colors in your paintings.

Yeah. I like the black-and-white contrasts. And recently I like the natural color of coal. I don’t know why, but I like it.

What does your art give to you?

I like to do it. On a logical perspective, it doesn’t make sense. When I finish a painting and think: “This is perfect“ — this feeling is really good. Maybe it’s like when you cook, eat and it’s good, you know? Doing exhibitions and giving my art to Faro or the Algarve is a good thing.

Do you have a favorite art piece of yours?

I named it “Monopattini tristi“ — it’s Italian for sad scooters. Imagine you are a tourist or someone else and you are trying to find a scooter you go to the app on your phone and the map says: “We have these three scooters at this spot“. You go there and it’s an art exhibition. You enter the gallery and you can use them. I named them sad scooters because people use them and then abandon them. And I feel they are kind of sad (laughs). There’s an Italian Instagram page only with photos of scooters: in the water, on fire, everywhere. I love it. And I think it’s my best artwork.

“You are the person who says whether I am an artist or not.“

Do you speak Italian?

No, but I want to. Maybe I will move next year to Italy to study again at an art school.

What do you want to learn?

I have never gotten out of Faro. So that is the first thing. I think about going to Lisbon or even outside of Portugal. For example, I didn’t do sculptures at my university. That is something I would like to learn more about, but I think it’s more for the experience than the technique. It’s a challenge for me.

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Dr. José de Matos 17, 4º Direito
8000-503 Faro
(+351) 911 725 377
Chamada para rede móvel nacional
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