João Jacinto is an artist from the 6th generation of ProjectoMap with a long artistic path, since the 80's, specially in the area of painting and drawing. Currently he is a professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon. With the privilege to visit his studio, located at Ajuda neighbourhood, we we're looking forward to find out more about his artistic practise, his work as a teacher, the relationship to its studio, among other issues.

"I need so many things and things do not come to me" - was how João Jacinto began by explaining the immense graphic production and the diversity of ongoing work presented at his studio.

ProjectoMap: We were thinking on how it is very curious this painting process. Eventually it becomes a cumulative thing but also materialistic, though the drawings we see here are somewhat different.

João Jacinto: For me the major difference is that the drawings are figurative and the paintings abstract. 

ProjectoMap: What are the problems? The topics that interest you and with whom you work?

João Jacinto: None. I do not have it, that is, if there's one thing I hate is to argument. And so I have no argument.

ProjectoMap: You are a teacher in Fine Arts?

João Jacinto: Yes. In this context there must be arguments. It's obviously different, as an artist I can do what I want, as a teacher I am within an institution to which, with many questions we may have, there are values that cannot be break. If we look around us, isn't missing art with argument, but what have I to do with it? Nothing. As a teacher, if for the student the argument is fundamental, I have to hear him and accept it.

ProjectoMap: It is antagonistic or a supplement this relationship to be an artist and teacher?

João Jacinto: I would be a different teacher if I wasn't an artist, that I have absolutely no doubt. They are intrinsically linked. The inverse is also probably true, I would be a different painter if I wasn't a teacher. If you ask me, If I was the teacher of many students that today are artists? Yes. Every year, in fact the overwhelming majority of young Portuguese artists were my students.

ProjectoMap: Is this the studio where you always work? Do you live here? What is your relationship with this studio, it was always the same?

João Jacinto: No, this is a shared studio. My last studio is this giant ball (points to a picture on the wall). When I'm tired, I make a ball with all that is in the studio, put tape and dump it in the dustbin. This applies to anything that might be going on, which is not completed. I'm just too lazy to move to another site.

ProjectoMap: How many times this has happened?

João Jacinto: Three times.

ProjectoMap: Its about creating a ritual...

João Jacinto: It's not a ritual, it is a practical matter.

ProjectoMap: So there is no specific message you want to share with your work?

João Jacinto: The point is, I do not know if I do because I want to say things. I doubt it. Duchamp said that "Posterity of an artwork is its spectator" and I think he is absolutely right.

ProjectoMap: And who are these faces, these drawings we see in the studio?

João Jacinto: They are foolish. The definition is stupidity without remedy. 

ProjectoMap: Are they Portuguese?

João Jacinto: I don't know. One of the secrets of the artworks is not to explain them, because if we tell their stories, they are all very stupid. Now the fools what are they? I really don't know, one day I started to create one and so the next day came another one, and one day I was filling the floor. But there are many things underneath this that are not fools. I like a certain insolence about things.

ProjectoMap: Let's talk about your artistic path. When do you begin to start painting and drawing?

João Jacinto: It all began at the school benches, I was envy of the ones who were drawing well and the fascination to whom could make a human figure, something I couldn't do. I have a vague idea when I was 7 or 8 years old to see a TV show with a men and his paintings, brushes and something in his hand, who latter came to know to be a painting palette. And that fascinated me, and from that time I began to say I wanted to be a painter, and it didn't change. 

ProjectoMap: Where did you studied? Do you had an artistic education?

João Jacinto: At that time I was living with my parents in Mafra, so I wasn't having any contact with Art. Years later I entered at School of Fine Arts and I studied five years Painting.

ProjectoMap: And there was any teachers who market your artistic education? 

João Jacinto: The first one was Pedro Saraiva, in my first year. It was someone I knew It was aware. In fact, I joined the Modulo Gallery in the 80s, when I was 20 years old, I suspect by the suggestion or presentation of Pedro Saraiva.

ProjectoMap: It still remains your gallery nowadays?

João Jacinto: No, I worked 22 years with Modulo Gallery, but I left some years ago. At the moment there are two galleries that represent me regularly, João Esteves de Oliveira in Lisbon, with works on paper and Fernando Santos in Porto. 

ProjectoMap: One last question, what should happen to your work?

João Jacinto: I do not know, but I do not care. Or better, if you ask me what I liked to happen is a different question. There is a verse of an Italian poet, I like, Cristina Campo that goes something like this: "... at the moment of my death I wish all the words I wrote, were suddenly gone forever." That was what I liked!

Interview by Alda Galsterer e Verónica de Mello, Collective of Curators
Photography: Joana Portela
Edition: Sofia Caetano

  • Date: 08-11-2016
  • Local: Ajuda