Interview: Marcos Coelho

First few basic questions, who are you, what are you doing, where are you coming from?

My name is Marcos Coelho and I’m an artist from South America, I live in the south of Brazil and work with analog/digital collage.

Another classic, Digital or analog? If analog, then scissors or blade? Glue or tapes? What are your tools?

I do both and sometimes I mix the two processes, scanning some images from books and magazines and working them on a computer.
I prefer to work with blades for accuracy, but some times I even rip the paper with my hands for a more dramatic effect depends on the intention and what I want to express with the collage. Usually, I use glue and spray glue, sometimes I just assemble the elements between two glasses and frame it.

What are your favorite source materials? How do you find them? Do you spend a lot of time while looking for them?

I love old books, botanical books, fashion magazines, books in another language, but I could work with basically anything printed, flyers and folders that I collect on my travels, maps, etc. There is a fair every Sunday where I live, there are some people that sell antique books and magazines and I go scavenge their stuff to find things that I like, also my friends always give me books or magazines that they find or they don’t want anymore, I have tons of material. I really spend hours on it, most of the time just curating the images on those books and magazines and them cutting out and storing it on a big folder, so when I feel like doing a collage I just search on my own “imagery database”.

In your artworks, do you have certain things or elements that you notice to pay more attention to? What are the key elements to yourself?

I often use people and urban elements in contrast with plants and nature, at the very beginning of my work this set comes to me in a subconscious way and then the more I make I was like perceiving and analyzing it. For me this dichotomy means our inner fights with or wild nature and the social rules we must accept, the freedom of the wild and the fast way of living on the city, since I grew up on the countryside of a small city and now I live on the capital of my state this feeling grow on me, the anxiety and stress of living in the city versus the calmness of being in contact with the nature and ourselves, this is what I try to express with my collages.

“I try to separate some key elements from my collection and start to work with them till it make sense to me…”

When you begin to work a new piece, do you have a clear vision of what you are going to do or where to start? How much your works ”live”/change from the original vision? How much you improvise?

Not at all, its always improvisation! I try to separate some key elements from my collection and start to work with them till it make sense to me, I value more the process of doing it than the result itself, it’s always been kind of a therapy for me, to distract me from problems and sometimes even solve them by thinking more clearly without all the stress, I usually transfer my problems to the paper, I don’t know if it makes any sense hahaha but it is what I feel.

What your art and collaging mean to you?

Everything. It’s my passion, my way of bearing the weight of existence and put a meaning on it. For me, sharing my vision with other people and show them that they are not alone with their thoughts, this connection, means a lot to me. It’s like when I heal myself I could do it for others in some way too. At least, it is what I believe.

How much your works reflect your emotions/views/ideology?

Well, with all that I’ve said before: my whole work is a pure reflection of my inner self, I really try to put my heart into it, sometimes more than I could really understand.

What are you trying to communicate with your art? What do you wish that viewers experience through your art?

I try to say that we are not alone with our problems in life, that are always a way out, through art we can experience and feel a powerful connection with ourselves and be at ease with who we are, to find ourselves and accept it, everyone has their problems and it’s ok to be sad sometimes, embrace your feelings and really feel it without shame, take a time to care for yourself and the world we live in. I know it could sound cheesy and ridiculous, but it is what it is, I believe in it with all my heart.

What have you learned about yourself through being an artist?

I’ve learned that I can do almost everything that I wish with patience, self-awareness, and love. Now I understand who I am and the things that I like to do. In the past [before I start doing collage] I’ve spent so many times trying to please other people besides me, trying to live their dreams for me, their ideal of success and I’ve put my dreams aside, I even forgot about them. Through my art I take my power back, feel empowered and whole, it really affected all the aspects of my life. Now I am a more reasonable person, a calm and happy individual.

If you should describe your art with one word, what would it be?


Marcos Coelho around the internet: