Colourful, intriguing and charismatic, describe both the artist and her work. Tarsila Schubert is working her way to becoming a household name in the Dubai Art scene and her work speaks for itself. When she’s not brightening up the otherwise grey walls of DIFC or painting recycled furniture at Yasalam (Abu Dhabi) for charity she’s working on improving herself as an artist and just saying YES to life.
Our team had the opportunity to speak with the ever inspiring Tarsila Schubert and learn more about her and her journey as an artist.
What was your inspiration to become an artist and were there any hurdles or difficulties on the way?
My earliest memories with art begin early, when I was a kid, I collected books and posters of Hieronymus Bosch and when I was twelve or thirteen years old, I would engross myself in Greek mythology stories, drawing the heroes and villains I read about. I would also create completely new characters from my imagination and draw them. When I was eighteen, I began to study dentistry at a university in Brazil, which was a three year course. My passion was art but I didn’t have the courage or means to pursue it so I chose dentistry, but after two years I took the plunge and decided to do what I love and it made me feel like I was really living. At first it was a real struggle, but I knew that life as a young and aspiring artist was never going to be easy, but it was requirement.
Where do you find inspiration for your work and who do you look up to as an artist?
Inspiration can be found everywhere. People and nature inspire me so much, we live in a crazy world, full of things to be noticed, and I always try and watch my surroundings. Since I am from Brazil, I’m used to seeing a lot of green and bright colours, and I always try to incorporate it in my paintings. Ever since I have moved to Dubai, I have been influenced by Arabic Calligraphy and the traditional Middle- Eastern way of life. I admire many artists, but specifically the artists from the past. I am passionate about the surrealist movement, as I said earlier, I really like Bosch, and I believe his work has influenced the surrealist movement. Also, I like the colours of Matisse and the faces and bodies of Egon Schiele.
What do you normally portray in your art? How personal is it?
I paint everything I see around me, and inside me. I try to make my reality seem more beautiful through rose tinted glasses. I dream a lot, and I always put my dreams and my nightmares in my paintings. A few years ago, I decided to become a street artist, so that I would be able to connect and share these feelings with people from all walks of life. Art is a feeling, an emotion, a moment, which are all very valuable. Our society is becoming more external, electronic and busy, and art can bring life, remind you of your internal feelings.
Do you sketch/practice before you paint or is it freestyle?
Most of the times I just do freestyle.
What is it like being a graffiti artist in Dubai? How is the scene changing?
I’ve been living in Dubai for two and a half years and ever since I moved here, I’ve seen so many changes that has led to an art evolution here. Projects are now sponsored by the government and people are getting more and more involved and interested, especially in street art. Galleries with new art concepts have opened, and has become more accessible to the public, we even have large art events that are being held. I truly believe that Dubai has everything to become a world reference for art in the future.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what is your ultimate goal as an artist?
My life has always been very unstable, full of changes, and nothing constant. I do not like to over plan, I just keep doing things in the present. In five years I don’t have the slightest idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, and I prefer to let life surprise me.