Interview with Desktop Girl

"When we do any type of art, we are throwing seed on the universe. It may bloom in someone's garden in a few days or years – if ever. The truth is that drawing has been an act of self-preservation lately. As the pandemics get worse in Brazil, being on quarantine is struggling with the news and trying to keep some sanity. Masks, virus, polarization. It's been a hard time digesting all of the COVID-19's combo. Drawing is a way of getting a deep dive inside my thoughts and having a break from the external chaos in which we've been living. The unconscious ends up flowing on the lines and colors and it allows me to take deep breaths and have some sort of hope. Still, there's life." 

Raysa Fontana is Desktop girl; currently on lockdown in Brazil where she is waiting for the pandemic to be under control. This interview and series are from her home studio where she is working in seclusion.

1. How has your art practice and art changed since COVID19? and what is your studio like where you are?

Ever since the outbreak, I've been oscillating between "I got to be severely productive" and "everything has its rhythm, it's wiser to slow down and follow your own time/flow."My generation has never experienced such an extreme scenario, not only due to COVID19, but also our political, economic, and environmental troublesome reality.

I feel like I've been focusing on depicting things, feelings, and situations that restore my energy in an attempt to neutralize hopelessness. My studio is this lovely little room I share with my wife (she does woodwork). There seems to be a corner for everything: painting, ceramics, crafts, and my good old desktop pc.

 

2.Your style of painting and color palette are very unique, can you share any influences or any events that led to developing your style of work?

I began to paint using oil but felt frustrated with the process and how time-consuming it was. My head is always at a million miles per second, so it seemed that in between waiting for a layer and another to dry, the feeling and enthusiasm I had when I first started was gone.

It was important for me to learn how to simplify things. Artists like Sara Hagale and Sophie Page were very inspiring in that way. About the color palette used in this series, I'd say it comes from a nostalgic undertone tied to my childhood that feels good to me.

 

3. Are the events in your images things that happen or memory's or fantasy? Do you name your character's?

It's a blend of events, memories, and imagination with elements that reinforce the nostalgia and emotion from childhood. I never noticed that until now, but I don't usually name abstract characters. They are like snapshots from the unconscious that hardly repeat themselves. The only character I've really named is sort of an alter ego who goes by "Tigelinha" (bowl hair). I was a proud bowl-haired toddler and adult for a while.

4. Before Covid did you visit a lot of galleries and museums? How has not being able to see artwork in person changed things for you?

I love to appreciate and discover other artists, I find this a very enriching experience. The internet has been a great "replacement" for visiting art galleries. Although it's not quite the same, it's a gateway that allows me to be in touch with other people's universes.

 

5. Is there anything that you are reading and/or listening to right now that is helping during this unusual time?

When I'm looking for inspiration on how to feel/be collectively in the world, I always enjoy listening to what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has to say, along with Brazilian rapper Emicida. In more introspective themes, I'm keen on Alan Watts's books.