We jumped at the chance to talk with the Sao Paulo based artist, Thais Beltrame, as Upper Playground releases a collection of tees by her. There’s something striking and immediate about Thais’ work that she’s able to accomplish with such a simple pallet and medium. Frankly, it’s something that we find impossible not to respect, and something that has landed her into the elite circle of artists that are molding the artistic culture of Brazil. Check out the Upper Playground tees here and the interview below. -TCR
Your recent exhibition in Wyoming looked wonderful, had you been to Wyoming before then? What was the catalyst for that exhibition?
I’d never been there, and as much as I tried to fantasize it through google earth it never compared to the actual experience. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that much silence in my life before that, and that has been crucial to the way I work now.
Any wonderfully ‘Wyoming’ moments from your time there that you’d like to share with us?
One evening a gentleman from the Association walked me back to the place where I was staying because there are not a lot of lights in the city once it’s dark. We saw three deer munching on someone’s frontyard, and stopped to look at them. They stared back at us for a while until they were sure we were ok. That was pretty memorable to me. And seeing beaver and trumpeter swans during a hike towards hot springs while it was snowing amidst the deepest silence was something I will never forget.
When I see your work I often wish you’d animate a video for a Sigur Ros song, there’s just this innate reflective quality. Is that intentional or does it naturally work it’s way into your pieces?
That is such a compliment. I don’t intend for my drawings to be they way they are, they just happen that way. I’m a very contemplative kind of person, and maybe even slow for the age we live.
We’ve seen a lot of American attention move towards Brazil over the last ten years, both in pop culture and politics, how has that changed the culture there in your lifetime?
There is a lot more space for the showcase of blooming new talent, that’s for sure. I remember how dead the 90′s was in therms of arts and culture so that’s definitely positive, and artists like me had no place to go back then. What I’m interested in is the long run so we’re yet to see how much of this will consolidate and become the culture of our time.
What does having someone like Pamela Anderson buy some of your work recently do for you?
It just goes to show how little we know about someone we think we know. She picked pieces I really like and I used to watch Baywatch so we’re even now.
We know you’re not allowed to speak about the ‘Famiglia Baglione’, but are the rumors (that we just made up) true that you guys have monthly meetings in rice fields and sacrifice a goat and that is where all of your collective artistic prowess comes from?
Last goat that got away became our PR, but other than that we still meet in rice fields.
If Sesper in 2011 were to meet the fictional character Jennie Garth of 1990, would he have a chance? (see this video for context)
I’m sure Dylan and Brandon wouldn’t stand a chance.
What’s going on for Thais Beltrame for the rest of 2011?
I’ve been lucky enough that I’ve only been doing things I enjoy lately. I’m finising up illustrating a second book before I take a vacation break after 4 long years. Then I’m back to printmaking, making a book of my own and being part of a group show in São Paulo. After that I show the fruits of my labour in Hamburg, Germany in a small design shop. It all seems just perfect to me. The unexpected.
From The Citrus Report