The artist Pedro Quintas integrates ProjectoMap and he received us in his studio in São João da Caparica. Nominated by Pedro Casqueiro, the artist nominated consequently Rui Moreira and Cristina Lamas to join ProjectoMap. In this interview, Pedro Quintas talked to us about his present works, elaborated on his artistic choices, as well as on the relationship he maintains with his studio. In the conversation ProjectoMap tried to understand how Pedro defines his own work.

ProjectoMap: Pedro you’re telling us that this was your parent’s house. When did you start working here?

Pedro Quintas: Yes, my parents used to live here. I started working here just a year ago. Until now I’ve always had studios in Lisbon. I’ve been working for 8 years in Chiado, then near Braamcamp Street in a shared studio with Pedro Casqueiro and Ana Jotta. Lately I've been in the Janelas Verdes neighbourhood (nearby the river Tagus), in one of those temporary studios, and then I started looking around for another. I found this apartment, which isn’t very good for living, and I decided to stay here. It’s smaller than those that I was used to, but it has the advantage of being close to home, whenever I want to work, I come here. I have this freedom.

ProjectoMap: So, for you the studio isn't a fundamental thing, it's just a workspace that could be here or somewhere else?

Pedro Quintas: Yes.

ProjectoMap: But do you feel that the size of the studio conditions your work?

Pedro Quintas: No, at the moment I’m doing smaller artworks, I’m doing these 30x30 cm, which I consider small. It was a format I've showed in the last exhibition at Fernando Santos gallery. It turned out this way. But I can’t leave the big size canvas. I'm still making one or two at a time. My next exhibition that I'm planning for next spring in 2017 will already include larger paintings.

ProjectoMap: You only work with Fernando Santos gallery?

Pedro Quintas: Yes.

ProjectoMap: What is necessary for a space to become your studio? Light?

Pedro Quintas: Yes, natural light when it comes to a shared studio. I need a space where I can close the door and start working. In the end, it’s crucial that I have a workspace just for myself.

ProjectoMap: What is your medium of choice?

Pedro Quintas: Acrylic paint. Since the school years that I don’t use oil anymore. That way the work flows quickly, because I can’t wait. Some years ago I started to explore photography and video too. I’ve been exploring various media, but I always paint at the same time.

ProjectoMap: You shared a studio with Ana Jotta and Pedro Casqueiro. There was a phase where Pedro also worked with letters; do you feel that there existed a mutual influence?

Pedro Quintas: Casqueiro and I know each other since a long time. We are born on the same day, and although we are from different generations, we have fifteen or twenty years of difference, but we understand each other very well. Since I started studying, I've been visiting his studio and we got along very well. For sure, he influenced my paintings. We [the artists] are surrounded by other artists; the images we filter have a lot to do with our work. We are like a sponge – there is no other way to explain it.

ProjectoMap: Even studying at Ar.Co, you never did any school exchange? This was very common in the 80s and 90s in Portugal. So you never went out?

Pedro Quintas: No, my artistic journey was quite alternative. I'm self-taught by nature, in everything. I started painting alone when I finished the high school, until I realized "this doesn't make sense, I have to go to an art school". And so I went to Ar.Co, but I’ve not always been able to understand myself, I did one, and the next year I stopped and then came back again. For example that classical teaching method, drawing from a model, the still life, these things upset me even because I already had my work. There was already another line in my head. 

ProjectoMap: Do you always wanted to be an artist? Or just happened?

Pedro Quintas: No, I think I always wanted to but I did not realize it. Because I always liked to draw, I always had that thing to intervene visually in space. Whe I started to paint some things I remember thinking "This is what I like" and then I went to Ar.Co.

Thank you Pedro,
ProjectoMap team


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

  • Date: 22-11-2016
  • Local: São João da Caparica