Interview with Juliano Mazzuchini

Interview with Juliano Mazzuchini

It’s very nice to meet you, Juliano, I have been an admirer of your work for a while now. First, when did you begin painting?

It is my pleasure Jacob, and I’m thankful for your interest in my job. I started to paint recently, since 2015. Before that time, I did not have any interest in painting. My educational background is on performing arts, especially in theater, so I was dedicated to expressing myself through the scenes. But today, I noticed that I only changed my expression channel and my main subject, mankind, that before was explored and debated in the theater, kept being the core of my research, but now expressed through the painting.     

Did you attend any kind of schooling for art or are you completely self-taught?

I can´t affirm that i´m completely self-taught, but it is a fact that I never studied painting formally, only free short courses of no longer than 1 month and only 2 or 3 courses like these. I have some easiness learning by myself, and I believe that is because I´m monomaniac, sometimes, hahahahahahah. So, when I started having interest in painting and drawing, this was my only interest at that moment, Rembrandt was my target and I spent too much time obsessed with him and his paintings.       


What were some of your inspirations early on, and have those inspirations changed in recent times?

Rembrandt and Velásquez interest me a lot in the beginning, actually I still have interest, specially due to the amazement it causes me. In the course of the time the interests are updated, as well the aspirations. I always come back to the ancient masters, and I always consult Van Gogh, Picasso and all the impressionists. However, lately Bacon has been an very influential reference on my productions, and also started to identify ecoes Bacon into the contemporary painting productions as Eduardo Berliner (Brasil), Thiago Martins de Mello (Brasil), Jenny Saville (UK), Jerome Lagarrigue (EUA), Paula Rego (Portugal), Phil Hale (UK), Max Gómez Canle (Argentina), Adrian Ghenie (Romania), and many others. 


So you’re from Brazil but are based in Buenos Aries, when did you make the move and why?

My actress and performer wife, Lucila Andreozzi decided to study a master in performing arts in the Universidad Nacional de las Artes in Buenos Aires so we decided to move ourselves, with the cat (Compay) and the dog (Frida). Since 2018 we are living and working here. Buenos Aires is a very cultural city, so it has been a very enriching experience.  


When working on a new painting where do the concepts come from before your brush hits the canvas? Do you keep a book of ideas on you or do you use some sort of reference photo?

I keep a references file, ranging from photographs (taken by me or not), paintings, videos, performances, books, dance and theater scenes, movies, music, physical gestures, etc. 

So, when I decide to hit the canvas, the major part of the process is very rational, accurate and motivated by those references. But there is the fortuity of the process, that relies on other factors that are not so objective.   


Is there a story or message behind your paintings that you are trying to convey to the viewer?

In some interviews, Bacon always said that there are no more than 2 dangerous traps in painting, the illustration and, the worstest one, the narrative. For me, I was always curious about his words, once the majority of his work is based on characters an or historical facts.

In the end, I tend to agree with him, I believe that my production, the painting when it reaches “finishing point”, any attempt you have had to narrate and / or illustrate something, is in vain. The painting has its own voice and is independent of me for anything. So what I have left in life is to be consistent with my work. 


While you work do you listen to music, audiobooks, movies, or do you just focus on the task? If you do listen to other things what kind of music, books, or movies would you be listening to?

Yes, I listen to a lot of music while painting and eventually there are times when the act of painting requires silence, and respect. But in general I try to paint with some soundtrack, I think it contributes a lot to my process.

I don’t like the word “eclectic” very much, but I can say that my interest in music is quite broad. So I listen to, Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben Jor, Caetano Veloso, Racionais, Emicida, Tyler the Creator, Idris Muhammad, Thelonious Monk, Arthur Verocai… etc.

What is your favorite thing about being an artist and be able to create?

I think that being an artist perhaps gives us what philosophy also offers. A possibility to reflect on life, mankind, the world, the purposes, the direction that things get, without pretensions, and having enough freedom to deal with these topics in a poetic manner. But it always seems like a pleasure with a slight bitter taste. Because in my point of view life is tragic, but I am still affirming life.

However, I think that being an artist and painting is a privilege, few people can dedicate themselves to it. Not because they are not able, neither do I believe that there is no one who is unable to paint, quite the contrary. Everyone should have the opportunity to paint, having time to dedicate themselves to their subjectivity, express themselves, etc, but unfortunately this is denied to them due to many economical and social factors, objective or subjective

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All Images © Juliano Mazzuchini

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