“Today we live in a society in which access to goods is so easy that we end up distancing ourselves and forgetting the processes, the rhythms, the know-how. It is time to reconnect with life.”
Your artistic world is filled with traditional symbolism, mysticism, culture, curiosity, and infinite beauty. Where do you find your inspiration?
The work of OM, although plural, follows 5 basic themes that can appear alone or added to a larger narrative: the sea, the forest, the body, the faith and the city of Lisbon. The sum of these five elements, we call Tusa de Viver.
Where did the passion for anatomy, in artistic representation, come from?
It is in bodies that we live, are and relate to the world, it is in bodies that we have pleasure and faith, so our work celebrates the body and human life.
How important is the reuse of materials in the work sphere?
Materials are tools for telling stories.
Working with “things that once were” allows us to exercise a new way of seeing objects; they are like skeletons that will eventually gain new muscles, new tendons, a new skin, and a new life.
The manual and tactile choice of raw materials privileges those that are part of everyday life, discarded furniture and objects, waste, and also organic materials such as wood and clay. The materials themselves are a constant source of inspiration.
Oficina Marques has pieces by Gezo and pieces by José, and also pieces that were made by both of you: what are the biggest differences you feel in creative terms when you work separately and together?
OM was born from the need to materialize and tell stories with our own hands, our work is very plural, we have pieces produced individually, some by Gezo and others by José, and we increasingly have more pieces made with four hands where there is a good balance between the two universes.
Each of us has a distinct universe, we are different in many aspects, and it is from this encounter that such a plural body of work develops. We usually say that OM’s identity is the result of this meeting of universes and different references, it is the constant dialogue and sharing (and also collision) of ideas that drives us forward.
In your interviews you talk a lot about “Tusa”, what is your greatest desire at the moment? Do you have any goals that you want to achieve in the near future?
Parallel to the signature pieces, creating a line of multiples. That is, pieces that are easier to reproduce and in that way make our work even more accessible to everyone.
Is there any work that has marked you in a special way?
Our growth has always been very organic, full of learning and key moments, in general all the pieces and exhibitions we do are important moments because we “force” ourselves to go deeper into our work process and to tell our vision of the world better and better, still we can highlight the Wooden Horse Sculpture, Panel for Avocado House restaurant or the Mother Goddess Panel.
What is your favorite part of creating an artwork? Do you prefer the creation, the idea, the exhibition?
Each phase of the process brings us different challenges and accomplishments, we enjoy them all. The idea and creation are very personal moments where we are involved intellectually and physically with the materials and the pieces. In exhibitions the pieces also belong to other people, it is a moment of encounter that we enjoy.
“Neptunia” in exhibition at Oficina Marques
Your art brings together the best of both worlds: reusing materials that should be at their end of life and then transforming them into aesthetically beautiful pieces of art. Do you follow any kind of specific format?
We want people to reflect on the value of life and time, so the manual record is very important in our work, hence the name chosen for the project being Oficina.
The fact that things are done manually by us, in an increasingly digital world, is also a way of positioning ourselves. We believe in and value manual work very much, as well as the human dimension of those who create with their own hands.
Today we live in a society in which access to goods is so easy that we end up distancing ourselves and forgetting the processes, the rhythms, the know-how. It is time to reconnect with life.
Photographies by Inês Ventura, at the artists atelier, Lisboa.
September 20th, 2022.
Gezo Marques shares with José Aparício Gonçalves the need to materialize and tell stories with their own hands. Together they form a team that celebrates the cycles of life, memories, scars and second chances. All with a great sense of humor.
Gezo Marques was born in Brazil and lives in Portugal. He made his way through college with a degree in Media Studies and then took a different learning path, working for several ad agencies as an Art Director in both countries.
José Aparício Gonçalves graduated in Design and Master in Cultural Management, he has professionally developed his artistic work since 2010. He has navigated between painting and illustration, graphic design, printing, photography and video.